The Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has handed himself over to the Hawks after his wife, Mary, was arrested on Monday afternoon, the church’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo confirmed.
In a statement on Tuesday, Nyondo said the Hawks’ attorneys had requested the couple to discuss an investment in connection to Rising Estate, which is an international property investment and development company.
“The Hawks informed lawyers of our leaders, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Prophetess Mary Bushiri, late Monday afternoon that they are requesting the couple to go to their office by 11:00am accompanied by their lawyers to discuss an issue concerning an investment pertaining to a company called Rising Estate,” he said.
Nyondo continued to say: “The Prophet and lawyers were getting prepared for the 11am appointment, when the Hawks went to their house before the appointment and arrested the Prophet’s wife alone.
“The Prophet is on his way to the Hawks office to hand over himself. He believes in the justice system of the country and he will abide to all what the law compels until all this war is done.”
He added that a criminal investigation was already being pursued on the matter.
“As the matter is still currently under criminal investigation, we have been advised not to discuss this matter any further.”
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi told The Citizen that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) would issue a statement regarding the case.
Meanwhile, the Hawks released a statement on Tuesday confirming that two couples have been arrested in connection with fraud and money laundering worth R102 million.
According to the statement, one of the four suspects arrested is a pastor.
The first couple have since appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. Their case was postponed to 30 October for a formal bail application.
The second couple, arrested on Tuesday, were nabbed by police separately. The 39-year-old wife was arrested at her home, while her 37-year-old husband tried to evade arrest. He eventually handed himself over to Silverton police, reportedly armed with “an entourage of attorneys”.
The second couple is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon.
It is not yet clear if Bushiri handing himself over to police has anything to do with the above mentioned arrests.
Colonel Katlego Mogale was not able to confirm whether the pastor arrested for the money laundering scheme was Bushiri.
This is a developing story. Article will be updated once more information is received.
(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa. Additional reporting by Nica Richards)