Why Bushiri is not coming back

Zukile Majova

All indications are that self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri is not planning to stand trial in South Africa.

The leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church has escaped to Malawi after paying a R400,000 bail for himself and his wife.

The couple and three others were charged with fraud and money laundering stemming from an investment scheme worth R102 million.

Yesterday Bushiri issued a statement confirming he was in his home in Malawi.

He also made a list of demands for the South African government and conditions under which he would return to face trial.

Bushiri said he has been persecuted without trial by the South African authorities since 2015.

“As we stand here, we were arrested in 2019 on allegedly money laundering charges and it’s getting to two years now without trial because the State is not ready to give it.”

Here are his demands and why Bushiri believes he cannot get a fair trial in a South African court:

·       His cases are being investigated by a team of police officers who allegedly tried to get bribes from him back in 2018

·       He wants state protection 24/7

·       Confirmation that bail will not be revoked

·       He wants the current team of Hawks detectives to recuse themselves

·       The said officer must be prosecuted for allegedly extorting money from him

·       Cases against Bushiri and his wife must only proceed once the police officers have been prosecuted

·       The South African government must appoint independent and professional investigators and prosecutors who should make independent decisions on the Bushiri cases

To see to his demands, Bushiri has asked the “Malawi government to liaise with the South African government to ensure that the above issues are met”. 

“Once these three issues are met and I am assured of a fair, just and impartial trial, I am willing to avail myself before the South African justice system.”

Picture source: @psbushiri