The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to again appear before Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee to “provide real answers regarding the Bushiris.

The party is also calling on Motsoaledi to provide the committee with the CCTV footage from the Waterkloof Air Force Base of the hours leading up to the Bushiris’ disappearance from South African soil. It believes the footage will play an important part of the investigation.

DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Angel Khanyile, says during his previous appearance before the committee, the Minister failed to shed any real light over the events related to the Bushiri-escape.

“The Sunday Independent today reported that the Bushiris had help from both the Malawian and South African governments to escape South Africa in a plot that involved them being issued with diplomatic passports bearing fake names and disguises before allegedly being spirited away on the Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s hired jet. In light of these allegations, it is imperative that the CCTV footage from the Waterkloof Air Force Base be made available to the investigation and the committee,” the DA says.

Both the governments of South Africa and Malawi have denied having a hand in the Bushiris’ evasion of the law.

Call for join sitting

The DA has also written to Parliament’s Chairperson of the Home Affairs Committee, Bongani Bongo, requesting a joint meeting with the Portfolio Committees on Home Affairs, International Relations, Justice and Police.

The party wants feedback on the progress the government has made in efforts to expedite the extradition Shepherd and Mary Bushiri.

Last week, government said it had initiated extradition proceedings against the couple. “In light of the manner in which the Bushiris were able to skip the country undetected, it is important that the relevant departments brief Parliament in order to satisfy the public that the process is progressing smoothly,” says Khanyile.

Khanyile says no stone should be left unturned to ensure that due processes are being followed in the matter.

“The seriousness of this situation cannot be overlooked. Especially since this is not the first time an incident of this nature has happened. In 2015, Omar al Bashar, skipped the country, despite facing charges of war crimes. And in 2017, former Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe, fled South Africa despite facing criminal charges over allegedly assaulting a model in a Johannesburg-hotel.”

The DA believes that the Bushiri-escape has again exposed the inefficiencies of our country’s border management system and the dire state of our borders. “There clearly is a need for urgent reform,” it says.

ActionSA leader, Herman Mashaba, has also blamed government’s failure to secure the country’s borders and deal with illegal migration for the Bushiri dilemma.

The Bushiris face charges of theft, money laundering and fraud of more than R100 million.

They fled South Africa last week, contravening their bail conditions.

The self-proclaimed prophet has said they will only return to South Africa if government ensures their safety and the investigating officers in their case recuse themselves.

Malawian authorities arrested them last week but were released after a magistrate court declared their arrest unlawful.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says the court order will be appealed: