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

Malawi minister’s signature awaited for arrest warrants of Bushiris

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Dec 8, 2020

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Cape Town – The process to have self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary arrested has begun, the Malawian government said on Tuesday.

On Friday, Malawi's Information Minister and Government spokesperson, Gospel Kazako, confirmed receiving a formal request from the South African government for the Bushiris’ extradition.

“The attorney-general is preparing to proceed for the signature of the minister of homeland security in Malawi. Once it is signed, it will be submitted to court for issuance of warrants of arrest by the court.

’’When that is done, prophet Bushiri and his wife will be arrested,” said Kazako, TimesLive reported.

Asked if the Bushiris could be arrested as early as this week, Kazako said: “It will depend when the minister signs and when the courts will act on the request from the attorney-general.”

The Bushiris are expected to appear in the Lilongwe High Court on Monday, where they are appealing their arrest.

The couple fled South Africa after being released on bail early last month.

The Bushiris and their co-accused are facing charges charges of theft, money laundering and fraud relating to an investment scheme.

They were released on a R200 000 bail each in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on November 4 following their arrest in October.

Their bail conditions stipulated that they were allowed to travel within Gauteng and North West only until the case was finalised. The couple own a hotel in Rustenburg in North West.

The prosecuting authority in Malawi two weeks ago filed an appeal against the unconditional release of the charismatic preacher and his wife.

Lilongwe Magistrate Viva Nyimba had ruled that the couple’s arrest in Malawi was illegal as there was no arrest warrant issued by the Malawian authorities. The magistrate ordered their unconditional release.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Sipho Ngwema said: "We shall follow developments in Malawi with keen interest. We are confident that, eventually, nothing should stay in the way of the Bushiris being back in SA to face our credible and independent justice system.

"We have faith in the legal and judicial processes, here and in Malawi, and we are certain that, like many others before them, the law will catch up with them."

IOL

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