Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Bushiri saga: MPs want to study CCTV footage before departure of Malawian president from SA airport

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Nov 17, 2020

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Cape Town – Home affairs portfolio committee chairperson Bongani Bongo has requested CCTV footage of the departure of Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s aircraft from Waterkloof Airforce Base, including the three hours before its departure.

Bongo had said on Monday: “There is something very conspicuous about how the (Shepherd) Bushiri escape happened. The Republic accredited 17 persons but 23 arrived.

’’That in itself was bizarre. Then when the Malawian delegation left, it did so with 19 individuals on board. Why would that be the case?’’

The committee on Tuesday also requested a detailed report from the security cluster ministers about how self-styled prophet Bushiri and his wife Mary contravened their bail conditions and fled to Malawi during their money laundering and fraud trial.

Bongo said he had received information from NGOs that Bushiri had left in the plane with which the Malawian president had departed.

“If we were to just get footage of what happened when the plane left and three hours before, we may be able to properly answer all the questions the nation has about what transpired on that specific day,” said Bongo.

“From where we are sitting as a committee, whoever gets into the country or leaves the country must have a stamp of home affairs or some document administered by home affairs. In this case we were told that all documentation of the family was taken to the police.”

The security cluster ministers and their technical teams met on Monday to discuss the matter and will prepare a comprehensive report for parliament, according to Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

He told MPs that Bushiri and his wife Mary had five passports each that were issued by Malawi.

Motsoaledi said the Hawks raised an alarm that the Bushiris did not report to the police station on the day the Malawian president’s entourage were to depart from Waterkloof Airforce Base.

At the time, an advanced team of the Malawi presidential entourage wanted to depart in the presidential airplane, but they were told it could not happen.

He said the advance team was advised to board in OR Tambo International Airport after negotiations.

Motsoaledi detailed the process that was followed until the team was allowed to board the presidential plane on the tarmac at OR Tambo after they were processed like any other passenger.

Before the plane departed, it was searched and there was no sign of the Bushiris, he said.

IOL

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