South African officials are scrambling to explain how the famous pastor and his wife managed to get back to his home country of Malawi – and seemingly do it with effortless ease. And President Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly furious about it.
With many questions still unanswered, the one thing that is clear is that Shepherd Bushiri has made South Africa the laughing stock of the region.
- When did Bushiri go and how?
- It is very unlikely that he could have done this by himself. It seems clear that somebody, somewhere was standing by to give him a helping hand. Who helped him duck the cops, get to an airport, get through passport control and on to a plane?
- Or if he fled by road, who helped him cross the land border into Zimbabwe?
- Bushiri said he arrived in Malawi on Wednesday night. This means that if he went by road he would have left on Monday. Given the fact that Blantyre in Malawi is more than 1,700km from Johannesburg – 21 hours of non-stop driving – it is almost a certainty that he would have flown.
- Bizarrely, despite Bushiri saying he was back home on Wednesday, there was been speculation he hitched a lift on Friday with Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera from Waterkloof Air Force base, but on Sunday the South African government denied this, saying immigration officials checked the identities of all passengers and Mr and Ms Bushiri were not on the flight.
One final unanswered question arises out of a recent video clip of Bushiri preaching.
“A prudent man sees trouble and runs away. But a foolish man sees trouble and stays there,” he preaches.
“When danger, trouble or problems come, you need to know how to escape from it.”
Is it possible that Bushiri might have known this day was coming – and may have planned for it?