Self-proclaimed prophet showdown: Bushiri's court application struck off the roll

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Shepherd Bushiri ( PHOTO:SHEPHERD BUSHIRI/ FACEBOOK)
Shepherd Bushiri ( PHOTO:SHEPHERD BUSHIRI/ FACEBOOK)
  • Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri approached the High Court to interdict Paseka 'Mboro' Motsoeneng from defaming him.
  • The allegation of defamation follows a forex trading scheme Bushiri got his followers to invest in.
  • The matter was struck off the roll as it lacked urgency.

Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri's court bid to gag another self-proclaimed prophet, Paseka 'Mboro' Motsoeneng, has been struck off the roll because the application lacks urgency. 

Bushiri turned to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in an attempt to interdict Motsoeneng and others from defaming him over his involvement in a forex trading scam. 

Bushiri's attorney, Terrance Baloyi, confirmed to News24 the matter was dismissed on Wednesday.

It was suggested that the matter could be re-enrolled on the normal opposed court roll. 

Mboro's attorney, Bukhosi Sibanda, also confirmed the matter was struck off the roll, but added that it was dismissed with costs. 

The court did not deal with the merits of the application. 

In his founding affidavit, Bushiri, the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG), also cited Felicia Sibeko and her husband, Arthur, who claimed that they were defrauded by him. 

The Daily Sun was also listed as a respondent in the matter. 

Bushiri was seeking an interdict to restrain Mboro and others from directly or indirectly defaming him as well as a court order demanding that the respondents remove and delete all defamatory statements, claims, articles, audio-visual recordings and any references made about the ECG leader from all electronic and print media platforms.

The second part of the application, which had not been drafted yet, sought declaratory relief as well as damages for the injury to his dignity, reputation and "good name". 

Bushiri said the statements published by the respondents, including Mboro, are egregious, malicious, defamatory, false, offensive, and hurtful. 

Bushiri said:

These statements have already and continue to cause irreparable harm to my reputation and my dignity, particularly as they appear online and have an extremely wide reach. They also constitute an invasion of my privacy.

At the heart of the application was the forex and trading commodities scheme that Bushiri got his followers to invest in. 

In a statement, Felicia Sibeko said she invested R130 000, which she got from selling her taxi. 

"Ever since the investment, my life has been ruined. He made me and many others promises with huge returns, something which didn't happen," Sibeko said in court papers. 

"I believed and prayed with Papa Bushiri and he took my money."

Bushiri disputed the statement and gave his own version. 

In 2017, Bushiri said he also invested in the unstructured forex and trading commodities scheme, which, at the time, he believed was legitimate and promised lucrative returns. 

"I subsequently discovered that it was not a legitimate investment scheme. I was just a victim of the scheme and not the mastermind behind it as the respondents misleadingly portray," Bushiri said. 

He added that, while he has not recovered the money he personally invested, to date, he has reimbursed his followers to the tune of R50 million. 

Bushiri said his followers cumulatively invested R100 million.

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