PRETORIA, South Africa – Cheers of excitement could be heard outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court earlier on Wednesday as self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and three of his co-accused were granted bail in court.
Magistrate Thandi Theledi, in granting bail, stressed the accused were to adhere to certain conditions, failing which the State would be obligated to revoke their bail.
Theledi granted the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader R200 000 bail, his wife Mary bail for R200 000 and co-accused Landiwe Ntlokwana Sindani bail for R100 000.
Zethu Mudolo, the wife of the first accused, Willah Mudolo, was granted bail for R20 000.
The husband’s legal representative indicated to the court he would also be applying for bail. The hearing was was scheduled for Friday.
Theledi said it should not be presumed the accused were not guilty, and that bail was a means of ensuring they attended their trial.
She said Mudolo had no previous matters pending against her, she had two minor children to take care of, one of whom was a 9-month-old daughter who was still breastfeeding, and had a medical condition.
The accused have to report to their nearest police station on Mondays and Fridays between 6am and 6pm.
They are not allowed to apply for any travel documents, and Bushiri and his wife are only allowed to travel within the borders of Gauteng and the North West.
Theledi also stressed they were not to intimidate or interfere with the State’s witnesses directly or indirectly.
In addition, Theledi said Bushiri and his wife were barred from preaching about the case, making threats to the prosecution, the investigating officers, or any of the witnesses.
All the accused are to return to court on Friday for the bail application of Mudolo.