Leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church and self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri says he and his wife will only return to South Africa if government ensures their safety and the investigating officers in their case recuse themselves.
“As earlier said, this is the same team that earlier lodged complaint against and, also, opened cases against. I won’t have a fair trial with their continued involvement,” reads Bushiri’s statement in part.
The couple defied their bail conditions and fled to their home country Malawi. They were arrested last month on charges of fraud, money laundering and theft worth more than R102 million.
The couple’s lawyer, Terrence Baloyi confirmed their departure.
Shepherd Bushiri’s statement on his arrival in Malawi:
They were granted R200 000 bail each last week.
Despite the fact that the prosecution in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court initially regarded the Bushiris as a flight risk, they were eventually granted bail.
The couple was restricted to North West and Gauteng and had to hand in their travelling documents and the title deeds to all their properties. Their movements were supposed to be confined to the Gauteng and North West provinces, where they operate numerous church branches and businesses.
Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale says relevant procedures will be followed to get them back in South Africa.
“With all law enforcement agencies, there’s policies and regulations that need to follow and we are doing that. And with regard to speaking to this other countries, there’s processes that need to follow with ministries and such.”
Mogale says they will investigate the matter.
“As the statement also said, we are investigating. We became aware when he was supposed to come and report at the police station as per his bail condition and that of his wife, that they will make sure that they will come at the station and confirmed that they were still in the country. And when they did not do that, that’s when we started probing the failure around them not complying with the court orders.”
Hawks statement on the Bushiris’ contravening their bail applications:
Hawks are investigating prophet Shepherd Bushiri and wife’s escape to Malawi: