Government to file formal extradition request for Bushiris: Lamola

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Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says government intends to file a formal extradition request with Malawi for self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri.

Bushiri and his wife Mary violated their bail conditions and fled to their country of origin last weekend.

They are charged with theft, fraud and money laundering involving over R100-million.

Lamola appeared before Parliament’s Justice Committee to give a political overview on the 2019/20 annual report of his department. He says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is working on the extradition matter.

“In terms of SADC protocol, we have 30 days to file papers to then file for formal extradition. We have set ourselves a time frame with all law enforcement agencies to file within the next two weeks,” says Lamola.

Minister Lamola satisfied with how officials handled the Bushiri matter:

Last week, Lamola said he would not rule out the possibility of extraditing the Bushiris to South Africa after news broke that the couple had fled to Malawi.

In a tweet last Saturday, Lamola said Malawi is a signatory to the SADC protocol which facilitates extradition in a situation in which a person commits an offence that is punishable by law in both countries.

Earlier this week, NPA Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema stated that they have confidence in the work of government and the Hawks to bring the Bushiris back to South Africa to face justice.

“The NPA put up a fight in court for the court not to grant him bail. We did also indicate the fact that he may have had the ability to skip the country given the fact that, first of all, there was the possibility that he was in the country illegally. He had a number of false documents. But we must also emphasise that we have confidence in the work that is being done by the Hawks now. I went there, I think it’s a matter of time. He can run but surely he can’t hide,” says Ngwema.

Hawks are investigating prophet Bushiri and wife’s escape to Malawi