Shepherd Bushiri and wife to spend weekend behind bars

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Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his co-accused, his wife Mary as well as Landiwe Ntlokwana, will spend the weekend in custody at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre after their bail application was postponed to Monday at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

Bushiri argued in court that he should be released on bail as he does not have any reason to try and evade the trial. His advocate, Annelene van den Heever, read out Bushiri’s affidavit.

“I fail to appreciate why I would be a flight risk. I have no reason to run away, I have no reason to evade the trial as I know I have not committed any offence let alone the offence for which I should be in prison. I’m a very religious person living my life according to the strict principles of my religion. I’m a pastor of the Enlightened Christian Gatherings Church with a following of about 2.1 million members.”

 Prophet Shepherd and Mary Bushiri court hearing: 

During the court proceedings, Mary said she has shown she can adhere to bail conditions as she is already out on bail in another matter.  She asked the court to be released on bail together with her husband and Ntlokwana.
They are charged with fraud, money laundering and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act to the tune of more than R100 million. Mary’s advocate read out in court her affidavit.
“My children are very young and it’s cruel to deprive them of the company of their mother in circumstances where I do not understand the charges against me and why I was arrested after my legal team made arrangements for me to surrender voluntarily. As demonstrated by my previous conduct I now for a prolonged period to adhere to bail conditions imposed on me by the court in the pending matter.”
Bushiri says in his statement there would be no outcry or shock if he is released on bail. He added that he is convinced he will be acquitted and that he is being prejudiced by being incarcerated as he is no threat to the state.
 Bushiri supporters gather outside Pretoria Magistrate’s Court: