The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has ruled that the R5.5 million Pretoria property belonging to self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary has been forfeited to the state.
Magistrate Thandi Theledi who had granted them bail made the ruling earlier on Thursday morning.
The couple fled the country to Malawi last week, contravening their bail conditions.
Bushiri’s lawyer Thabang Mathopo has told the Court that he doesn’t know where his clients are. The couple was supposed to be in court on Thursday for the continuation of the bail application of their co-accused, Willah Mudolo.
A Malawian Online Newspaper, Nation Online, reports the couple will bring a bail application in that country after handing themselves over to the authorities on Wednesday.
Bushiri, wife hands themselves over to police:
Mathopo, however, told Magistrate Theledi that the whereabouts of the Bushiri’s remained a mystery.
“For the record at this stage, I don’t have clear instructions on the whereabouts of my clients. As the court says I also only know what I read in the media, but at this stage, I don’t have clear instructions.”
Bushiri faces charges of fraud, corruption and money-laundering involving more than R100-million.
Malawi’s extradition laws
Malawi’s law allows for the extradition of accused persons to another country. However, this only happens after authorities establish that the persons face extraditable charges.
While Malawi is a signatory to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocols on Extradition, its local laws still apply. It must be determined if the charges the Bushiri’s face constitute extraditable offences under the law.
Malawi’s Extradition Act says that processes will begin at the lower Magistrate’s Court with expectations of appeals and the like before a higher court can make the final decision.
Bushiri has denied the allegations and is expected to argue that he didn’t commit the said crimes.
The legal process can take up to several years.