Overjoyed followers of “prophet” Shepherd Bushiri have compared his freedom with that of former president Nelson Mandela’s release from Robben Island.
Hundreds of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) members could not contain their joy when their charismatic leader and self-proclaimed prophet appeared through the observation hatch on the roof of a police armoured vehicle, nicknamed the Nyala, shortly after he and his wife Mary were released on R100 000 bail each by the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.
Pretoria-born Mike Mthembu said he was contemplating withholding his vote in the upcoming elections if the law enforcement agencies continued “harassing the anointed Major One”.
“These thousands of people you see here are sending a clear message to the Hawks (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) - touch him again and there will be consequences,” Mthembu said.
“It feels surreal that today I have seen my dad (Bushiri) through that police vehicle sunroof. I cried in disbelief. The only other event I can think of similar to this one in this country is the release of Nelson Mandela from Robben Island.
“Our liberator is back now.”
The leader of the Incredible Happenings Church, prophet Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng, had enchanted the lively crowd of ECG members when he arrived to support his “brother”.
Motsoeneng had also been at court on Monday, during the Bushiris’ initial appearance.
Some of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's followers outside court.
After their release yesterday, a visibly excited Motsoeneng was again at the forefront - standing in the middle of police officers, hanging on to the bumper of the police Nyala transporting the Bushiris from the court.
“As a man of God, as a prophet of the country, I couldn’t just sit back. We are the body of Christ and we should be supporting each other.
If one church falls, it doesn’t mean it will only be that church. It’s the beginning of the fall of other churches. Where we do wrong, we confess our sins to God and he forgives us and gives us a chance.
“The prophet (Bushiri) has prayed for many people and he has changed many lives,” Mboro said.
“So I’m here to support him as a brother and a friend.
“The ECG members are understandably happy that their mother and father are back. I can tell you, to have a home without a mother and a father is traumatising. This is a beginning, and now he should focus on God and his vision to preach the gospel.”
Before being whisked away in the police Nyala, Bushiri emerged through the observation hatch, intending to speak to his followers.
However, there was a problem with the public address system of the vehicle.
The thousands of ECG followers chased after the convoy as it left the court, along Visagie Street, and all the way into Thabo Sehume Street.
The Bushiris were arrested by the Hawks at their plush Sparkling Waters Resort in Rustenburg in the North West on Friday. They face charges including fraud and money laundering. African News Agency (ANA)