Bail application for Bushiri’s co-accused to continue on Monday

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Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s co-accused, Willah Mudolo, will have to wait nearly another week before his bail application in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court will continue. He has been behind bars since October when he was arrested together with his wife, Zethu.

The Mudolos are charged together with the Bushiris and Landiwe Ntlokwana for fraud, theft and money laundering involving more than R100 million.

All Mudolo’s co-accused have been released on bail except him. His bail application was postponed until Monday.

Magistrate Thandi Theledi said there is no place on the court roll for the continuation of Mudolo’s bail application despite his lawyer saying bail is always urgent and that Mudolo’s application has been dragging since October.

Criminal law expert, Dr. Llwellyn Curlewis, says long bail application postponements are a travesty of justice but not uncommon.

“The Constitution is the upper guardian of the law. This type of tragedy occurs on a daily basis and represents a travesty of the law. This is a perfect opportunity for a High Court on an urgent basis to intervene and to ensure the rule of law is adhered to.”

Mudolo indicated during earlier proceedings he will plead not guilty to all the charges. He claims Bushiri paid money into one of his business accounts, Rising Estates, without his knowledge and that all the money has been paid back. He also denied he tried to flee the country three times.

Mudolo says he was planning to go abroad for business at the time of his arrest. He did say his visitor’s visa expired on the 30 of April this year but said he intended to schedule an appointment with Home Affairs.

The state alleges that Mudolo tried to flee the country and was illegal in the country. He is also accused of contravening immigration laws by conducting business while using a visitors’ permit.

The Bushiris’ extradition

Meanwhile, Malawi’s Information Minister’s spokesperson, Gospel Kazako, has confirmed receipt of an extradition request for Bushiri and his wife Mary. The couple was earlier unconditionally released at the Magistrates’ Court in Lilongwe after the magistrate ruled the Interpol arrest warrant was illegal as South Africa didn’t follow procedures.

Currently, there are five arrest warrants for Bushiri issued in South Africa and three additional arrest warrants for charges of rape. There are two warrants for his wife Mary. The couple was released on R200 000 bail each but fled the country to Malawi last month.

Judgment reserved in Bushiri and co-accused bail application: