NPA prosecutes without fear or favour, says Mhaga

Self-styled prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary. Picture: Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Self-styled prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary. Picture: Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 14, 2024


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) came down hard on Shepherd Bushiri’s lawyers for his false accusation that the South African justice system was being used to target him.

During his court appearance in Malawi, Bushiri disclosed that the country’s justice system was being weaponised against him.

He claimed that the reason he flew to Malawi was that he could get an opportunity to clear his name and get a free and fair trial in his place of birth.

“I believe our courts here are so independent and trustworthy, as the justice system in South Africa is highly weaponised against the church, foreigners and those who are doing well,” he added.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga rubbished his assertion as being dishonest and misleading the court of Malawi.

Mhaga said the prosecutorial authority was executing its duties diligently, fairly and lawfully regardless of who was facing the charges.

“All prosecutorial decisions are based on evidence and the NPA is guided by law, constitution and NPA policy in its prosecution process.

“Therefore we deny fabricating evidence as the prosecuting authority,” he empathised.

Bushiri and his wife, Mary, fled the country when they had to face their charges.

The duo were facing charges of fraud and money laundering.

The pair were leading the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church.

Bushiri’s escape was characterised by controversy, as it is still unclear how they managed to flee the country.

They fled in November 2020, days after they were granted bail.

Initially it was thought that Bushiri had escaped the country using Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s presidential plane.

Chakwera was accused of wanting to smuggle out about 30 people who were believed to be members of his advance team who arrived in South Africa first.

At the time, a senior government official confirmed that Chakwera’s presidential jet was grounded for hours at Waterkloof after there was a problem with his suspicious passengers.

“Although we got an anonymous tip that Bushiri was one of those suspicious passengers, he wasn’t there when we searched the plane,” the official said at the time.

The Star reported at the time that Malawian press secretary Brian Banda had confirmed that Bushiri wasn’t on the president’s plane.

“The president’s plane was delayed and some members of his team weren’t allowed to board from Waterkloof. They were forced to go to OR Tambo International Airport,” he said.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit had seized all of Bushiri’s property and cars before he fled the country.