Bushiri escape: Motsoaledi seethes at justice system

Andile Sicetsha - 16.11.2020

Questions have been raised about Bushiri’s escape. If he and his wife’s names don’t appear in recent travel registries, then who helped him?

Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, are now fugitives of the State after the self-proclaimed prophet revealed in a statement that they had sought asylum in Malawi.

The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church founder published the four-page statement on social media, on Saturday.

Shepherd Bushiri makes demands to SA government

In it, he revealed his motivations for crossing the border while out on bail. You will remember that last week, the Hawks had descended on Bushiri and booked him, his wife and two other associates for charges related to corruption and money laundering.

In his letter, the pastor made it clear that he and his wife had no intentions of returning to South Africa before the government made several assurances.

He claims that his daring escape was necessitated by numerous alleged attempts on his life “and despite several attempts to report to authorities, there has never been State protection.”

Bushiri has vowed to remain under the sovereign protection of Malawi until South Africa meets these conditions:

  • He gets the assurance of his safety from the SA government
  • His bail is not revoked on return to SA
  • The investigating officers in his graft charges are prosecuted for extortion and that this case should precede his own
  • SA State must appoint independent investigators and prosecutors in his case

Home Affairs minister blasts SA justice system

At the centre of this controversy is Malawi’s role in allowing a renowned fugitive within its borders. While the answers to this are subject to diplomatic talks between the two nations, Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi has been seething at the lack of security at our own border posts.

The minister spoke to EWN and revealed that there is no travel registry with the names of the fugitives listed.

This can only mean that custom officials assisted Bushiri in his escape. For Motsoaledi, it’s a warning that they made abundantly clear to the Pretoria court when the State was pushing for the pastor and his wife to be remanded in custody.

“We in Home Affairs gave them evidence to show them this man’s documents are all false. They were unreliable, and once you got an unreliable person, why do you think he will obey the rules because he has never obeyed them. He has never obeyed any law in South Africa as far as we are concerned,” Motsoaledi told the cited publication.

The minister revealed that extradition talks have ensued between South Africa and Malawi. At this time, Bushiri and his wife remain free.