Tshwane - The charismatic leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG), prophet Shepherd Bushiri, and his wife Mary were arrested for crimes including fraud and money laundering on Friday.
According to a statement released by the church on Friday evening, police officers - later identified as Hawks' members - "stormed" the Sparkling Waters Hotel in Rustenburg at around 7am.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, also said in a statement on Friday evening that a "prophet" and his wife had been arrested, but declined to name the pair.
According to the statement released from 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," said the church statement.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in his 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 USD."
Mulaudzi said the couple, who run several business enterprises in South Africa and abroad, are expected to appear before the Pretoria [Specialised] Commercial Crime Court on Monday.
African News Agency (ANA)