Latest: “Prophet” Bushiri’s live public address, SA’s extradition process and warrant of arrest

Picture: @sheperdbushiriministeries, Facebook

It was business as usual for fugitive church leader Shepherd Bushiri this weekend as he took to social media to make a live public address. South African authorities have initiated extradition process and a warrant of arrest has been issued.

Bushiri – who claims he is a prophet – and his wife escaped to his home in Malawi this weekend despite being on trial in South Africa for fraud. Bushiri released a statement on Twitter claiming that he feared for his and his family’s lives. He alleged that there had been numerous attempts on their lives.

He went live in a ‘Special Public Address’ on Saturday, in which he made a list of demands for the SA Government in exchange for his co-operation. He also explains why he and wife escaped back to Malawi, citing alleged injustices and fears for their lives.

The livestream has had 97 086 views on YouTube.

Bushiri then posted a tweet on Sunday saying, “Our own main services will be streaming during the usual time slot [14.00 hrs CAT and 18.00 hrs CAT]on ALL our social media platforms as well as Prophetic Channel! Tune in and don’t miss!”

The services went ahead on Sunday, however, Bushiri was not seen on camera.

A wanted man

Speaking to VK News on Monday, SA Government spokesperson Phumla Williams confirmed that an arrest warrant had been issued for the couple.

“Their bail has also been revoked which means they now forfeit the R200 000 each they paid to the State. Their next court date is 19 November 2020 and if they miss that date their residency in South Africa will also be forfeited,” Williams said.

On Sunday, Williams released a media statement stating that the SA Government has initiated an extradition process to ensure that Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri are brought back to SA to face charges of theft, money laundering and fraud related to a R100-million investment scheme.

Further investigations into how the pair fled the country

Responding to allegations that Bushiri left SA on a flight with Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera – who had been on a working visit to President Cyril Ramaphosa – the SA government confirmed that the alleged fugitives did not leave South Africa aboard Chakwera’s flight.

Williams said Department of Home Affairs immigration officials verified the identities of all passengers and Mr and Ms Bushiri were not on the flight.

“When travellers are processed for departure, they are required to present themselves to an immigration officer who, among other checks, verifies that the passport belongs to the traveller. To ensure that the two fugitives face justice, South Africa has initiated a process to secure their extradition from Malawi in terms of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Extradition and other legal instruments, to which Malawi is a signatory,” she said.

Williams said investigations will continue while the extradition process is underway.