Pretoria - The lawyer of controversial Pretoria prophet Shepherd Bushiri wants the Malawian removed from the promotional material for the planned march by victims of false prophets, scheduled for Wednesday in Joburg.
Bushiri’s lawyer Bright Rikhotso of B Rikhotso Attorneys has turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, in a bid to remove the Malawian from the list of prophets published on social media by organiser of the march Martins Antonio.
The march is scheduled to take place from 10.30am. Participants will meet in front of the Joburg Theatre and march to the South African Human Rights Commission in Parktown. The notices have #NoManipulation #BushiriMustFall, #FakeProphetsMustFall, and #NoDeception.
In court papers, Rikhotso, acting for Bushiri, wrote: “As you may already be aware, on Friday March 9, 2018, our client launched an urgent application to interdict the following people from publishing further statements that defame our client: Mr Antonio Martins; Mr Solomon Ashoms, and Mr Charles Farai (the respondents).
“The application speaks for itself. We want to make our client’s position abundantly clear: the object of the letters and urgent application is not to stop the march against false prophets.”
Rikhotso said Ashoms and Farai deleted every post defaming the Malawian-born prophet, but Martins did not reply to the order.
He reiterated that he merely wanted Bushiri’s name “removed from all the drama”. “We need to get one thing clear; we are not saying the march shouldn’t go on; in fact you can even join if you want.
“ All we want is for our client’s name to be removed from Antonio’s Facebook posts as he is always including Bushiri’s name in all his posts. He is defaming our client and we want him to stop,” Rikhotso said.
Bushiri, in his founding affidavit, argued that the #BushiriMustFall that appears in one of the pamphlets alongside #NoManipulation suggested he was “deceiving and manipulating” his congregants.
Bushiri, the head of Enlightened Christian Gathering, also known as Major 1, commands a huge following in Pretoria, South Africa and beyond. He ministers to more than 10 000 people at the Tshwane Events Centre, formerly the showgrounds, every Sunday, while thousands others watch him on his dedicated television channel.
His followers immediately took to social media and were ready to attack whoever spoke ill of him. They encouraged each other not to be swayed by all the negativity around the march, saying the organisers were going to fall instead and not the Malawian prophet, who is believed to be a millionaire.
On Monday, Antonio still had Bushiri videos, pictures and his name all over his social media pages.
Social media comments:
@psbushiri There’s an imminent protest against you on Wednesday. You hired a lawyer to interdict the process through a court? Why dont you send angel Gabriel to rescue you? Practice what you preach and let your fake angels fight your battles #BushiriMustFall
Angell Ravele: Be careful, make sure the fire you are trying to set for him does not burn your hands.
Angela Angel: We are the fearless we are the soldiers of Christ we are with Jesus till the end time.
Zanele Maake Mkon: You will fall. First my father is not going anywhere. Just keep on dreaming with your demons.
Ghudo Tchweni: I support you Antonio.
Nelsiwe Makukula: He’s a thief, busy collecting money from you. Keep on supporting him, but one day * will regret.
Dolly Masenya: People come here to South Africa riding a crocodile crossing the river looking for jobs and as soon as we welcome them they think they smell nice and they become too comfortable. This is not Zimbabwe, Angola or Nigeria. Go do nonsense in your country, I’m sure Charles doesn’t even have money to go home; Antonio and Solomon they are at least bathing.”