Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed that ECG Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife are in South Africa illegally. This as the Bushiri, his wife Mary and their three co-accused had their bail applications postponed until Friday in the Pretoria Magistrates Court.
This as proceedings ran longer than expected on Monday and the court adjourned early. The legal representatives of the Bushiri’s wanted the application to resume on Tuesday. However, the magistrate in the case was not available until Friday.
The Bushiri’s are also facing another trial in May next year also related to fraud and money laundering.
Speaking to the SABC, Motsoaledi says they have uncovered evidence that the Bushiris entered South Africa and conducted business while on a visitors’ visa, using fraudulent residency papers.
“Shepherd Bushiri and the wife entered South Africa through the Beitbridge Border post on the 6th of September 2009 and they were issued visitors visas. Visitors visas have got a timeframe but while on this visitors visa Shepherd Bushiri started registering certain companies. He engaged in certain businesses in 2014, 2015 and 2016 which, of course, are not allowed. Mary Bushiri entered SA through OR Tambo International using a passport. She then produced a fraudulent permanent residence permit.”
Bushiri supporters pledge support:
The magistrate presiding over the Bushiri bail application says she is afraid of an outbreak of COVID-19, after protestors gathered outside the court with no social distancing.
She says she didn’t want to postpone, but she has other commitments.
ANC parliamentarian, Boy Mamabolo, addressed the crowd outside the court. Church security helped to regulate the crowd.
Mamabolo said he will intervene to help the Bushiri’s sort out their problems with Home Affairs.
Bushiri fraud charge update
The suspects are charged with fraud to the tune of R100 million, money laundering, and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act. All the suspects will remain in custody. The Bushiri’s will remain in custody at the Kgosi Mampuru correctional centre.