A self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, are set to spend at least two nights at the Kgoshi Mampuru Correctional Centre following their appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. The couple appeared with third co-accused Landiwe Ntlokwana on charges of fraud and money laundering in relation to an investment scheme.
Bushiri handed himself over to the Hawks on Tuesday while his wife and Ntlokwana were arrested by officials.
The matter has been postponed to Friday as the State was not ready to proceed with a formal bail application as there were details that needed to be verified before the application could go ahead. The State needed to confirm the couple’s address as their residence is up for sale and their residency documentation is due to expire.
It emerged in court that Bushiris gross monthly income is R566 000.
Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in Pretoria, Lumka Mahanjana, said the Bushiris and another couple, Willah Joseph and Zethu Mudolo, allegedly defrauded investors to the amount of just over R106 million through an investment scheme.
“The Mudolos appeared at the same court on Monday with regards to same charges. The matter was postponed to Friday,” she said.
“We are unhappy about what we feel is a weaponization of the criminal justice system. The State reserves the right to arrest and prosecute but surely they cannot always arrest and then claim they are not ready to proceed.
Meanwhile, those in Bushiri’s support camp have slammed the court for how their appearance was handled on Wednesday.
Prophet Bushiri and Prophetess Mary Bushiri have always vehemently stood by their innocence and are resolute in their stance that they are innocent. It is our wish that the State proceed with their cases without delay so that the truth comes out,” a statement on Bushiri’s official Facebook page read earlier on Wednesday.
Crowds gathered outside the court to show support for the Bushiris.
Bushiri founded the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church in South Africa. The church also has branches in Malawi, Ghana, South Sudan, and other countries.
He has also been accused of raping two women from his church. However, he claimed that the women were trying to extort money from him.
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