DA calls on Interpol, SA and Malawi to facilitate smooth Bushiri extradition

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Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
PHOTO: File, Gallo Images
  • The DA wants a smooth extradition process for Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
  • They want the couple to stand trial in South Africa on the serious fraud charges they face.
  • The DA also wants them to come clean on how they escaped from South Africa.

The DA has called on Interpol, as well as the South African and Malawian authorities, to facilitate a smooth extradition process for the self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.

This follows reports on Wednesday morning confirming that the couple had handed themselves over to Malawian police.

"As a member of Interpol, Malawian police authorities now have an obligation to hand the two fugitives over to the international agency and South African authorities," said DA spokesperson on Home Affairs Angel Khanyile.

"The Bushiris face serious charges of fraud, theft, and money laundering to the value of R102 million and should now be returned to South Africa to stand trial for these allegations.

"In addition to these charges, the Bushiris will also have to come clean on how they skipped South Africa undetected and evaded law enforcement officials."

She said the Bushiris' escape had highlighted the poor state of our nation's border management systems and how vulnerable it was to corruption.

"Urgent action must be taken by the Department of Home Affairs, and all relevant departments need to pull up their socks and tighten border security and border management systems."

Warrant of arrest

Over the weekend, it emerged that the corruption-accused self-proclaimed prophet and his wife were on the lam in Malawi after they skipped bail.

The Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader, together with his wife and three others, are accused of fraud involving around R102 million.

The couple were out on R200 000 bail each. On Friday, they didn't appear for their check-in with police - a bail condition.

On Saturday, they said that they had fled because they believed their lives were in danger and they would not get a fair trial in South Africa, in an interview broadcast on the church's social media.

A warrant has been issued for their arrest, and their bail has been revoked.

On Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who had been called before the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, dismissed claims that the Bushiris had escaped with the assistance of Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera, who was on a state visit to South Africa on Friday. The plane was searched on two occasions.

However, it remains unclear how the Bushiris left South Africa and entered Malawi.

On Wednesday morning, it was reported that they had handed themselves over to police in Lilongwe, Malawi.

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