A member of the Enlighten Christian Gathering Church outside court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ African News Agency (ANA)

It was a sight that left many baffled and wondering about the mental state of the people they were seeing.

Grown men and women with tears streaming down their faces, speaking in tongues, crying for their "Papa", Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, whom they felt was being unfairly persecuted.

Other visuals many found totally bewildering included a video showing Bushiri's followers surrounding a Hawks vehicle, praying in tongues, shouting fire at its direction and even sprinkling on it in what could be described as either holy water or oil.

These scenes unfolded outside the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Monday, where Bushiri and his wife Mary were appearing on charges of fraud, money laundering and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act dating back to 2015.

However, to Bushiri's masses, their Papa has done nothing wrong and if he's not released, the elections will be boycotted.

At the beginning, many people were amused by what they saw and made fun of the situation.

 As time went on, however, others questions among others the followers' mental state.

Some event went as far as describing the church as a cult and said the followers had been indoctrinated hence they were acting in the manner they did.

Bushiri and his wife will be back in court on Wednesday.