Bushiris forfeit R5.5m property to state after fleeing to Malawi

Self-proclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary at the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 30 October 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Magistrate Thandi Theledi also ordered that they lose their combined bail money of R400,000.

Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary’s property in Midstream Estate, Centurion – valued at R5.5 million – has been forfeited to the state.

Magistrate Thandi Theledi also ordered that they lose their combined bail money of R400,000.

This after the couple violated bail conditions and fled to Malawi last week.

The couple was expected to appear in the magistrate court in Lilongwe for a bail application on Thursday at 2pm after spending the night in police custody, their lawyer Wapona Kita confirmed to Malawi’s Nation Online.

The publication shared pictures of vendors, who were camping outside the court, calling on government not to extradite the couple.

On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court issued a second warrant of arrest for the Bushiris, who contravened their bail conditions and fled to Malawi last week.

The two face charges of theft, fraud and money laundering.

South Africa has initiated legal proceedings to secure the extradition of the fugitives.

AFP journalist Jack McBrams told eNCA that the Bushiris handing themselves over was not a result of the South African government issuing the warrant of arrest.

“I spoke to a [Malawian] police commissioner and he said a warrant of arrest will only take effect if it has been issued by the Interpol and that has not been effected on the Interpol system. I do not believe the extradition will happen as quickly as the South African government would wish for it to happen.

“It might take years before the couple is extradited to South Africa, so it’s not as straightforward as it looks. The whole legal process has to play out.”

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expecting a report on the couple’s escape this week.

He said that government would take action once it knew what really happened.

“The Bushiri matter has been very concerning to all of us. I’m waiting for a report, a detailed report on the whole Bushiri saga, which I will get, and we will then see what action needs to be taken because it should never have happened the way it did. I’ll be getting the report either tomorrow or so.”

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