The co-accused in the fraud and money laundering case involving self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri, is a flight risk with the potential to buy his way out of South Africa if released on bail. These are sentiments of the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court’s prosecuting team in response to Wilah Mudolo’s bail application.
Mudolo’s bail application started on Monday.
The state argues that no amount of bail money and conditions could make Wilah Mudolo stand trial — given his easy access to a lot of cash. This, says the prosecution, is compounded by the fact Mudolo has business connections in South Africa and abroad in places such as Hong Kong, London, Nigeria, and his home country Zambia.
Mudolo whose age is unknown, after he allegedly lied to authorities about it, will spend another week behind bars.
He has been incarcerated since his arrest two months ago. He’s the only one of the five accused, who has not yet been released on bail. This, despite his lawyer arguing that he’s prepared to comply with the bail conditions.
But, the prosecuting team is adamant that Mudolo’s case cannot be divorced from the actions of his co-accused. Bushuri and his wife, Mary, fled to their home country, Malawi, after they were released on R200 000 bail each last month.
The process to extradite the controversial couple back to SA to stand trial is underway. But, Mudolo’s legal team argued that their deeds should not be used to deny their client bail.
Evidence before the court suggests the accused has numerous travel documents — some of which were obtained fraudulently.
The Bushiris and their co-accused, Landiwe Ntlokwana, and Mudolo’s wife, Zethu, are out on bail. They are charged with theft, fraud, and money laundering involving more than R100 million.
More arrests expected
Meanwhile, more arrests are expected in the money laundering, fraud, and theft case involving Bushiri and his wife. This emerged during cross-examination in the bail application of Mudolo.
Investigating officer, Colonel Daniel Marais agreed when cross-examined by Mudolo’s lawyer that there are other people who were involved in the alleged scheme who have not yet been arrested.
Marais told the court that the investigation is expected to be concluded in the next month or so.
He was found with two cellphones whilst behind bars in which one has incriminating evidence concerning bribing court officials for bail. The court also heard that he attempted to escape to Dubai on three occasions.
His lawyer however put it before the court that he never intended to escape, leaving behind his wife, two children, and a multimillion-rand property.
The court has reserved judgment in the bail application until next week Tuesday.
Mudolo applies for bail: