The extradition hearing of Enlightened Christian Gathering Church Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary has been adjourned to next week. This is due to an application by the defence against the Magistrate who is expected to preside over the matter.
South Africa has applied to have the fugitive couple brought back to the country to face fraud and money laundering charges.
A warrant of arrest was issued after the Bushiris fled South Africa in contravention of their bail conditions. At the time, the self-proclaimed prophet claimed that they fled due to concerns over their safety.
Shepherd Bushiri addresses the public from Malawi following his escape from SA:
The defence lawyer Wapona Kita, who is the lead lawyer for the Bushiris points out the fact that Patrick Chirwa Ewho – the resident magistrate for Lilongwe – is not supposed to handle two cases at one time. One of which is dealing with the extradition itself. The second matter is dealing with the arrest warrant.
The defence team has expressed that it thinks it’s not viable for Ewho to handle both and that is why they want a change in the magistrate who should be handling the extradition case on Monday and then the injunction on the warrant of arrest on Tuesday.
Earlier, Malawi’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Steven Kayuni, told the court that the extradition request from South Africa has been formally served and includes charges of theft, fraud, forgery and failing to comply with bail conditions.
Kayuni also said three additional counts of rape have been added to the charges against Shepherd Bushiri.
Advocate Johan du Toit elaborates on the Bushiris’ extradition process:
– Reporting by George Mhango.