Crime News

Hawks hunting Shepherd Bushiri, wife after they contravene bail conditions

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The Hawks have confirmed that self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church, and his wife Mary contravened their bail conditions by failing to report to a local police station.

“There are unconfirmed reports that Prophet Bushiri and his wife have absconded from South Africa, which is in contravention of their bail conditions as set in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court,” said Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale on Saturday.

’’At this stage, we can confirm that he did not report at the police station as requested and agreed upon, which is also an act of contravention of court order.

’’Investigators, together with prosecutors, have been working tirelessly since it came to light that he did not report at the police station.

’’The current posts purporting to be issued by Bushiri, who is said to be in Malawi, are being authenticated and verified. Investigation around the failure to comply with the court order is under way.“

PROPHET BUSHIRI’S STATEMENT ON HIS ARRIVAL IN MALAWI I would like to inform the general public that my wife, Mary, and… Posted by Prophet Shepherd Bushiri on Friday, November 13, 2020

The couple were only allowed to travel within Gauteng and North West until the case was finalised after being granted bail of R200 000 each by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on November 4. All of the accused had to report at a nearby police station on Monday and Friday between 6am and 6pm.

The couple and their three co-accused face fraud and money laundering charges related to an investment scheme valued at about R102 million after being arrested in October.

Explaining why they have left the country, Bushiri said in a statement on Facebook on their arrival in Malawi that they fear for their safety and he wants several demands met before returning for trial.

“I would like to inform the general public that my wife, Mary, and I are temporarily in our home country, Malawi, because of safety and security fears since 2015, matters that got worse when we just got out on bail,” the statement read.

‘’There have been clear and evident attempts to have myself, my wife and my family killed and despite our several attempts to report to authorities, there has never been state protection.

“Our coming to Malawi, hence, is a tactical withdrawal from the Republic of South Africa solely meant to preserve our lives.

’’The attempts have heightened with recent spates of arrest and detentions that we felt the only way for us to clear our names before the law is to ensure that our lives are preserved.

“My wife and I strongly believe in our innocence but this cannot be proved if our lives not preserved. We have to be alive to testify to our innocence.”

As part of their strict bail conditions, Bushiri and his wife had to hand in the title deed for their property in Centurion as a guarantee. They were also not allowed to make any comments in their church services about witnesses, the prosecution team and those involved in the case.

“Accused number four and five (the Bushiris) are barred from travelling anywhere else in the republic of South Africa. They can only travel within Gauteng and North West province until the case is finalised,” magistrate Thandi Theledi had said.

Bushiri also posted on Facebook on Saturday that the “Prophet will be giving a special public address right here on Facebook, our YouTube channel as well as Prophetic Channel at exactly 14.00 hrs”.

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