Action SA Leader Herman Mashaba says the South African government must shoulder the blame for the escape of the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church and self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary to Malawi.
The Bushiris are on Thursday expected to appear in a court in the Malawian capital Lilongwe. They skipped bail and fled South Africa last week and handed themselves over to authorities on Wednesday.
They are expected to apply for bail while they await the court to begin their extradition trial.
The Bushiris are accused of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
Mashaba says it is unfortunate that South Africa has been turned into what he terms a “banana republic”.
“As far as I’m concerned, the fault lies directly with the South African government. I think we’ve really turned into a banana republic. I think this is an embarrassment to the entire nation. How someone can escape and secondly how he had the audacity to hold a press conference, after leaving the country without our government’s knowledge? I’m actually as a South African, I’m embarrassed, says Mashaba.
‘I left for my safety’
During a virtual address on Saturday, Bushiri made an impassionate plea to his Malawian government to intervene in his case in South Africa. Bushiri says he and his wife fear for their safety in South Africa.
The Bushiris have said there have been many attempts to have them and their family members killed.
He later spoke to SABC News, saying he doesn’t want to abscond from trials in SA as he is a law-abiding citizen. However, he declined to disclose how he got to Malawi:
Hawks probing escape
Meanwhile, the HAWKS say they are investigating how Bushiri and his wife managed to defy their bail conditions and flee to their home country: