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Police in South Africa have arrested a suspected fraudster for impersonating the award-winning traditional singer Khulekani Kwakhe “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, who died in 2009.
The unnamed man, who appeared in court in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province on Tuesday, had said he had not died but was kidnapped by a witchdoctor who cast a spell on him and imprisoned him in a cave with zombies, local media reported.
Thousands of people in Khumalo’s rural eastern home village of Esiggumeni, turned out to see the man at the weekend. Riot police with truncheons and water cannons were deployed to keep the crowd under control.
The man told reporters: “I have been suffering a lot at the place where I was kept with zombies. It was hell there and I am so grateful that I was able to free myself and return to my family and you, my supporters.”
“I have always been alive,” he was quoted as telling the crowd. “I have lost a lot of weight but it is me.”
Police said the suspect’s fingerprints do not match those of the famed singer. The man also does not have the same scars on his face as Khumalo had.
“Detectives conducting the enquiry were convinced that the matter required criminal investigation,” police said in a statement.