Family members of self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary have reportedly been prevented from leaving Malawi.
According to eNCA, Bushiri’s daughters and mother-in-law were leaving the country for Kenya, however officials from the Lilongwe International Airport were quick to act.
Whether it was an attempt to flee Malawi remains unknown at this stage. The Bushiri family is already in trouble with the law. They had appeared before the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court in January 2021 and are expected back on 8 March for the start of their extradition hearings.
“The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court today ordered that the formal hearing of the extradition of 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,” said the country’s justice ministry at the time.
The Bushiris: How did it get here?
Shepherd Bushiri and his wife fled South Africa for their native Malawi, in violation of their bail conditions. They, along with three co-accused face charges of fraud and money laundering to the tune of R102 million. They were each released on R200 000 bail by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court after being in police custody for more than two weeks.
Their bail application in Malawi came on the same day they were set to return to the court for the aforementioned charges. They are now out at least R6 million, which includes the value of their home. Magistrate Thandi Theledi has ordered for the property to be seized by the state after they failed to make an appearance.
This is days after they had already forfeited their combined R400 000 bail.
The Bushiris already had two warrants out for their arrest, the first one having been issued by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks.
The North Gauteng High Court subsequently issued another warrant, for similar charges in another case. The Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court released the Bushiris on R100 000 bail each in 2019. This is in relation to another fraud and money laundering case to the tune of R15 million.
Adding onto Bushiri’s legal troubles is two South African women who have accused the man of rape. They have both told eerily similar stories, claiming he gave them R5 000 after their encounters.