Red faced South Africa vows to bring Bushiris back to face justice

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER

SOUTH Africa’s government says it would consider using an extradition treaty to bring back self proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri and his wife back to face justice after they escaped to Malawi,

SA Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said his government would use the southern African Development Community extradition treaty to bring him back. 

“Malawi is a signatory to the SADC protocol and other legal instruments on extradition. We will not hesitate to use these provisions and instruments to assist law enforcement agencies to extradite fugitives from justice,” Lamola said.

Bushiri and his wife, charged with fraud and corruption in a South African court, have fled the country and are now in Malawi. The couple, who had to surrender their passports and report to a police station as part of his bail conditions, have surfaced in their home country. The Hawks, the elite South African Police detectives unit, confirmed that Bushiri and his wife did not report to the police station as required by their strict bail conditions. This failure is a contravention of a court order. 

Bushiris are each out on R200 000 bail. During their bail application, the state fought vehemently to stop the court from granting them bail. Among the reasons tabled in court were that Bushiri and his wife had established businesses in Malawi and had moved some of their luxurious cars to that country. However, the court, after listening to counter arguments from their lawyers, granted them bail.

In terms of their bail conditions, the Bushiris are not permitted to travel outside the Gauteng and North West provinces. 

In a social media post from Malawi, Bushiri claims that he had fled South Africa because they feared for their lives. “There have been clear and evident attempts to myself, my wife and my family and despite our several attempts to report to the authorities, there has never been state protection. Our coming to Malawi, hence, is a tactical withdrawal from the Republic of South Africa solely meant to preserve our lives,” he said.

Bushiris and their co-accused  are facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering in connection with a ponzi scheme worth R102-million. 

Their co-accused, except one, were also granted bail. Landiwe Ntlokwana was granted bail of R100 000 and Zethu Mudolo is out on bail of R20 000.

Magistrate Thandi Theledi warned the accused that their bail would be revoked should they violate the strict bail conditions. 

Theledi laid down the following conditions.

  • They have to report to the nearest police station twice a week.
  • They cannot travel outside South Africa.
  • They cannot use their sermons to intimidate witnesses.
  • They cannot apply for travel documents.
  • They have to hand over the original title deed of a property jointly owned by them as a guarantee.
  • They cannot dispose of the property linked to the bail until the case is finalised.
  • They cannot directly or indirectly intimidate witnesses