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Malawi court to rule on fugitive prophet Bushiri and wife’s extradition to SA

Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church, and his wife Mary in court.

Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church, and his wife Mary in court.

Published Feb 6, 2022

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Johannesburg Fugitive self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary will find out on Tuesday if the Malawi high court will send them back to South Africa to face serious fraud charges involving more than R100 million.

The flamboyant couple skipped bail in South Africa and fled the country. To this day how the wanted pair left the country remains a matter of conjecture.

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Bushiri and his wife are accused of fraud, theft, and money laundering in an alleged investment scam that allegedly defrauded investors to the tune of R102 million.

In addition, Bushiri faces eight counts of rape.

The Bushiris and their co-accused were released on bail in June last year before the Bushiris made their escape to their home country Malawi.

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Speaking to supporters on social media from Malawi, Bushiri said his decision to skip bail was “a tactical withdrawal meant to preserve lives”.

South African authorities immediately initiated an extradition process which led to the matter being heard in court.

Now the high court in Lilongwe says it is ready to rule on whether the fugitive couple should be sent back to South Africa to face trial.

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“Take notice that judgment in this matter will be delivered on February 8, 2022 at 10 o’clock in the forenoon in the Chambers at the High Court of Malawi Lilongwe Registry, Criminal Division,” said MK Chimwaza, assistant registrar of the court in a statement dated February 4, 2022.

Known for his lavish lifestyle and preference for slick suits, 38-year-old Bushiri is often described as one of the wealthiest religious leaders in Africa, with a fortune estimated at R2.3 billion.

His possessions reportedly include private jets, luxury cars, and various properties – some of which have since been seized by South African authorities.

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*This article was first published by The Bulrushes.

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