Bushiris' formal extradition hearing set for 8 March

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Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
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  • The formal extradition hearing for wanted self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary is set for 8 March.
  • It's expected that a decision about their extradition would be made the same day. 
  • The pair fled South Africa for Malawi shortly after they were released on bail on fraud and money laundering charges. 

The formal extradition hearing for wanted self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary, is set for March 2021 before a magistrate's court in Lilongwe, Malawi.

"The Lilongwe Magistrate's Court today ordered that the formal hearing of the extradition for the Bushiris start on 8 March this year. The court has issued a warrant of arrest for the two fugitives. And it states that they should be summoned to court in March," Malawi Ministry of Justice spokesperson, Pirirani Masanjala, said in a brief statement on Wednesday. 

READ | Bushiri extradition papers have been signed, Malawian govt says

This comes after the wanted couple appeared before court on Wednesday for an application by prosecutors for a warrant of arrest.

Malawi Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, told News24 on Wednesday that the matter - to be heard before magistrate Viva Nyimba - was likely to be concluded in March.

Finality expected in March

"The State and the accused have settled for 8 March, where the hearing will be done and there is a high likelihood that [the] magistrate will make a decision on the same day.

READ | Bushiris hand themselves over to police in Malawi

"We expect it to reach finality in its current state in March," he added. 

Malawi received the formal extradition request from the South African government on 4 December.

The Bushiris are wanted in connection with a fraud and money laundering case to the alleged tune of R102 million.

The duo, however, fled the country to their homeland just a few days after they were granted bail of R200 000 each - under strict conditions - in the Pretoria Central Magistrate's Court. 

More to follow.

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