Pretoria – South Africa’s Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on Monday said fugitive Malawian preacher, self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri did not co-operate with the police watchdog after opening a case of extortion against some officers in 2018.
In a statement, Ipid spokeswoman Ndileka Cola confirmed that in 2018, Bushiri’s lawyer opened a case of police corruption/cash extortion on his behalf in Sunnyside, Pretoria, alleging officers investigating several cases of rape against Bushiri were trying to extort money from him to make the charges disappear.
“As part of the investigation process, Ipid required Bushiri to provide crucial information about the allegations and to acquire witness statements,” she said.
Cola said Bushiri’s “non-availability due to his busy schedule” had posed a hurdle for Ipid investigators in the probe.
“His poor co-operation, busy schedule and non availability has stalled the investigation process as crucial information required to proceed with the investigation process is not forthcoming from him as the victim in this matter,” she said.
“Mr Bushiri has been provided with feedback on the matter. He is well aware that the investigator will proceed with his case as soon as he co-operates fully with investigation process.”
On Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority said it would bring an application in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act for a warrant of arrest for Bushiri and his wife who were released on bail in another case but fled the country into Malawi, citing safety concerns.
Spokesperson Lumka Mahanjane said the NPA would also apply for the cancellation of the bail granted to the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on November 4.
The Bushiris are facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering, which reportedly took place between 2017 and 2019, involving more than R106 million (US$6.9 million).
African News Agency