’Not off the hook yet’, says NPA as Bushiris forfeit R5.5m Midstream Estates property
Johannesburg – The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has ordered the Bushiris R5.5 million-valued property at the Midstreams Estates in Centurion be forfeited to the State.
Magistrate Thandi Theledi made the order on Thursday after the fugitive couple failed to present themselves to court, breaking their bail conditions.
NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said the couple was not off the hook as a result of the property being forfeited to the State.
“We welcome the decision of the court and have confidence in the ability of the legal processes to bring the accused back to South Africa to face justice.
“The two fugitives can run but can certainly not hide. They are not off the hook,” said Ngwema.
On Monday, the Hawks had warned Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary, to present themselves to court or risk forfeiting their R5.5m property at the Midstreams Estate in Centurion.
However, they fled South Africa last week while facing charges of theft, money laundering and fraud in connection with an alleged R102m investment scheme.
On Wednesday, they presented themselves to Malawian police and reportedly spent the night behind bars in their home country.
Also on Wednesday, the Hawks secured a second warrant of arrest at the North Gauteng High Court for the couple who faced a separate fraud and money-laundering charges..
The Bushiris had already forfeited R400 000 they paid to secure their release on bail two weeks ago.
The cmoney-laundering accused Bushiri said on Saturday he had fled to Malawi as he “feared for his safety”.
Bushiri also said he had returned to his home country to formally ask the Malawian government to intervene in his court battle in South Africa.
When the Bushiris were granted bail on November 4, the court imposed strict bail conditions, including the couple report to the police station every Monday and Friday, and were not allowed to sell any property.
They were ordered to hand over the title deed of their Midstream Estates home to the State. They forfeited their passports and were barred from travelling outside South Africa.
The South African government have said they were making attempts to get the Bushiri couple extradited to South Africa.