Shepherd Bushiri, also known as Major 1fled the country after being granted bail in his fraud, money laundering and corruption trial late last year. He and his accomplices, including his wife Mary, are accused of defrauding congregants of his Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, to the tune of around R100 million.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has confirmed that the extradition of the self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri is still pending and that a court in Malawi has yet to rule on some aspects of the case.
Lamola said the government still plans to bring Bushiri back to South Africa to face the law after his escape late last year. However, the extradition process has been delayed in courts that Bushiri opposes.
Lamola said that when they put in place processes to bring Bushiri back, they followed all aspects of the law. Bushiri escaped with his wife Mary in late 2020, and when they were on trial for fraud and money laundering of millions of rand. They were released on bail of R200,000 each. Since his escape, Bushiri has been fighting South African authorities who want to bring him to justice.
But Lamola, who responded to a written question to parliament from IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe, said they are now awaiting a ruling on whether witnesses can travel from South Africa to testify in Malawi.
In November 2020, a request was received from the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) for the extradition of Shepherd Huxley Bushiri and Mary Bushiri from the Republic of Malawi to the Republic of South Africa to stand trial on various charges. The request was then delivered to the office of the Attorney General of Malawi on December 5, 2020. The extradition hearing took place at the Lilongwe Magistrates' Court in Malawi.
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