PRETORIA, South Africa – The leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church, Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary have formally started their bid for bail in a Malawian court while having lost their R5.5 million South African home.
This as the pair violated their bail conditions of not leaving the country and failing to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today alongside their three co-accused.
Willah Mudolo, Zethu Mudolo, and Landiwe Ntlokwana Sindani appeared in court 16 today sans the Bushiris to face charges of theft, money laundering and fraud in connection with an alleged R106 million investment scheme.
Sindani, who appeared dejected in court, was also said to have almost violated one of her bail conditions as she had been ordered to inform the investigating officers a week prior to leaving for her home in Cape Town except in instances of an emergency.
She was said to have only informed officers a day before of her intention to leave Gauteng without giving any details of the need to travel at short notice.
The court orderly, following procedure, called for the Bushiris three times outside and inside the courtroom.
When asked about the Bushiris’ whereabouts, their legal team from Mothapo Attorneys said they had no knowledge of their whereabouts except for what they had followed in the media.
Kabelo Mothapo indicated they had not received any further instructions from them either.
The State said the warrant of arrest for the Bushiris had been issued on Monday following news of their pair’s departure and thus would move for their Centurion property to be forfeited.
Magistrate Thandi Theledi granted the order as the property was attached as their guarantee not to abscond from their trial proceedings, which they did. They have also as a result had their bail of R 400 000 revoked.
Court proceedings were postponed to December 3, to continue with the bail application of Mudolo as well as to allow the tracing of the Bushiris by the authorities.
Meanwhile, Bushiri’s lawyer Terrence Baloyi said they were awaiting the outcome of the bail application in Malawi as it was still under way.