Bushiri 'demonised' because he is a 'successful black man' - BLF leader

2019-02-04 14:20
Self-styled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sunday World, file)

Self-styled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sunday World, file)

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"As Black First Land First (BLF), we stand with the major one [Shepherd Bushiri]. This is a systematic attack on the church and the prophet."

These were the words of BLF leader Andile Mngxitama, speaking outside the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Monday, where Englightened Christian Gathering church leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary were appearing. 

Read: SAHRC to investigate Andile Mngxitama's alleged hate speech

The two were arrested in Rustenburg on Friday on charges of fraud and money laundering. 

Addressing hundreds of Bushiri's congregants, who sang and demonstrated outside the court, Mngxitama said the BLF was the only political movement that had come to show support to the self-proclaimed prophet and his wife.

He said political parties and their leaders had turned their backs on the prophet now that he was "in trouble", even though they were the very same people who would seek blessings from Bushiri. 

"We are the only ones who have come out, because we are on the side of the truth. We know that the major one is being prosecuted by this government because he is a black man who is successful out of his own effort and his blessings from his God," Mngxitama said. 

He added that the church was under attack because black people were leaving "white established churches, because there was no spirituality" in those churches. 

Mngxitama alleged that the government was being used to bring down Bushiri’s name and the churches name.  

"Now these white churches, using our government, are trying to destroy these independent black churches. We say to our government that it must stop doing this, it must allow black people to thrive," Mngxitama said. 

Bushiri and his wife, Mary will be back in court on Wednesday, after the case was postponed to allow the State to conclude investigations, according to NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.

'Harrass and demonise'

However, Mngxitama said the reason why the case had been postponed was to "harass and demonise" Bushiri. He added that there was not enough evidence and that the case would be thrown out of court. 

"The NPA always harasses people like this. We know for instance in the Estina case, for Guptas, all those things were thrown out of court because there is no evidence. 

"We see the very same thing happening here. It is jealousy. They just want to harass the major one and take his properties," he said.

Among those protesting outside court on Monday was another self-proclaimed prophet, Paseka Mboro Motsoeneng, who said he was there to give spiritual and moral support to Bushiri and his wife. 

Also read: Prophet Mboro seeks legal advice after CRL rights commission chair takes him on

"I am here to give moral and spiritual support as a brother in Christ. He is a prophet and he is running a church, and I am running a church, so I cannot rejoice when things are going like this," Motsoeneng said. 

Law to take its course

Bishop Modiri Patrick Shole, president of the South African Union Council of Independent Churches, said they would allow the law to take its course. 

He said the council was also part of the mediation process between the CRL Rights Commission, Sanco, and the church. 

Shole said, although Bushiri was not part of the council, they were there to offer support as he was part and parcel of the body of Christ. 

"We are saying, let the court take its course. We don’t know who is right, who is not wrong. All what we are saying is, let the law take its course. Our stand is that we will pray and we will come, listen and hear what is said," he said.

Read more on:    blf  |  prophet bushiri  |  andile mngxitama  |  pretoria  |  courts

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