Bushiri followers threaten to withhold votes if he is not released. His followers, who are still outside court despite an order that they should disperse, are united in prayer after the couple was taken back into custody. They are set to appear again on Wednesday.
While the world will have to wait until Wednesday to find out if controversial prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary will be granted bail, adamant followers have vowed to stay put outside court.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader and his wife appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on charges of fraud and money laundering. Their brief appearance was made in the absence of the media as it was barred from going into court.
After proceedings, the couple was escorted back to prison in different vehicles. An unmarked white car drove out first, followed by the second one transporting the wife, and a third one followed with the prophet visible from the back. Scores of church members came out in their numbers to show support to the couple, including Pastor Mboro. They threatened to withhold their votes in the general elections if “Major 1” was not released.
Pandemonium broke out among the fuming crowd after it was announced that the couple will spend two more nights in police custody before their fate is known. “We want Major 1” and “No Major No Vote” were some of the words that could be heard from the large crowd. Supporters held up placards supporting the couple.
Police kept a watchful eye on the situation. The Bushiris were arrested on Friday by the Hawks in Rustenburg for alleged fraud involving R15.3 million, and for the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, for offences allegedly committed in 2015. They spent the weekend behind bars.
Last year, reports emerged that the church leader had been sending about R15 million per month to Malawi, his home country.
The money was allegedly being transported in his private jet. On Sunday, the church resumed services at the Pretoria Showgrounds for the first time following a December 28 stampede that claimed the lives of three female congregants. At least 17 other congregants were injured as they ran for shelter during a heavy rainstorm.
Source: IOL News