South African 'back-from-dead singer Mgqumeni' detained
- 6 February 2012
- From the section Africa
A South African man who claims to be a famous dead singer is in custody until DNA tests determine his identity, police say.
The man says he is Khulekani "Mgqumeni" Khumalo - an award-winning Zulu folk musician who apparently died in 2009.
He turned up at the family home last week, saying zombies had kidnapped him.
The family, including two wives, say he is genuine - but police say he will be charged with fraud if DNA testing shows he is lying.
The BBC's Nomsa Maseko said that police expect the DNA results later this week - and until then the man will be kept in detention.
Our correspondent says that if his DNA matches up with Mr Khumalo then the police will have to go to court to exhume the body that was buried - in early 2010 in a high-profile funeral attended by local politicians, the media and fans.
She says the case has caused a sensation in South Africa - and on Sunday, thousands of fans flocked to KwaZulu-Natal to see the official "unveiling" of the man.
The police used water cannon after people pushed and shoved one another to get a glimpse of the man claiming to be Mr Khumalo.
Using a loudspeaker, he told fans that he was not dead - but had disappeared after he became a victim of witchcraft.
He says he was kept in a cave by zombies for two years, forced to sing and had to eat mud to stay alive.
"I have always been alive," South Africa's Times newspaper quotes him as saying.
"I have lost a lot of weight but it is me," he said.
The man, not sporting Mr Khumalo's trademark dreadlocks, ignored fans' requests to sing but instead recited his clan names, according to the Times.
Belief in witchcraft is common in South Africa, especially in rural areas.
South African police say they are treating the case as a criminal investigation.