Pretoria - A marked vehicle of the Hawks was mobbed by ECG members, with some spraying it with “anointing oil to cleanse it” on Monday.
A crowd of lively ECG members was protesting outside the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in the city centre. The usually busy Visagie Street was blocked off to traffic, with police officers blocking the court entrances.
Unfazed by the massive police presence, the faithful ECG members sent a message to law enforcement officials through the Hawks golf GTI parked near the court entrance.
“We command fire! Major One is innocent. Release him. Holy Ghost fire. Fire!” the animated crowd chanted, gesturing with hands.
Moments later, some took out small bottles of “anointing oil”, believed by many to have special supernatural powers, and started spraying the police car.
Police officers intervened and started pushing back the lively crowd.
Emotions ran high outside the court, as police officers blocked journalists from entering the court premises.
Frustrated journalists ran from one entrance to the other as Bushiri and his wife Mary appeared on charges including fraud and money laundering.
“No media inside. We are not going to allow you to go in,” the officers kept saying as journalists pleaded for access. Several police officers were posted on the court entrances and along Visagie Street.
Some ECG officials were allowed to pass through the media scrum and enter the court.
Moments later, it emerged that Bushiri and his wife had appeared in court, and their case was postponed to Wednesday.
The Bushiris were arrested on Friday, by the Hawks at their plush Sparkling Waters Resort in Rustenburg in the North West.
According to a statement released by Bushiri's church: "They took the prophet and our mother prophetess Mary Bushiri in handcuffs to Pretoria. They have charged our father with fraud and money laundering. As you will remember, from last year, we have struggled with reports that our father was guilty.
"We have repeatedly learnt from different media houses that we were under investigation. At some point accurate reports pointed out the fact that certain people within the police had demanded bribes amounting up to R10 million," the statement said.
At the time, Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement: "The Hawks’ case against the pair concerns alleged offences of fraud, money laundering, and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) committed from 2015 in relation to Exchange Control Regulations related to foreign currency in an amount of $1 147 200."
African News Agency/ANA