The state in the case of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader and self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri, his wife Mary and three others has argued that they should not be granted bail.
The couple together with Landiwe and Ntlokwana William as well as Mary Mudola are appearing in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for bail application following their arrest over a week ago.
They face charges of fraud to the value of R102 million, money laundering and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
Members of the church lost their monies after they joined an investment scheme through one of the couple’s entities, which promised 50% returns in two months.
The state says the accused may attempt to evade trial, interfere and intimidate witness should they be granted bail.
The state alleges the Bushiris have misled the court by providing false information to the court.
It says the couple lied about living with their two children in South Africa full time, whereas they reside and go to school in Malawi, where the pair originates.
The court has also heard of how Bushiri might interfere with witnesses as he has allegedly done on previous occasions.
His legal team is also accused of intimidating state witnesses in his previous court matters.
The state says there’s a pattern of cases involving Bushiri being withdrawn, including his recent rape case.
Meanwhile, accused number one, Mudolo is alleged to have attempted to flee South African borders on three occasions since the relaxation of COVID-19 regulations.
He was arrested in September at the OR Tambo airport on his way to Dubai.
Below is a video of Prophet Shepherd and Mary Bushiri’s court hearing last week: