Bushiri In Malawian Custody
Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, has handed himself over to the Malawian Police following corruption and money laundering charges amounting to more than R100 million that have been pegged against him by the South African National Prosecution Authority.
The ECG leader who fled to South Africa last week Wednesday has since said the reason he fled to his home country of Malawi was as a result of his life which is under threat.
“On Tuesday morning, 17 November 2020, the Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, addressed the Portfolio Committee in Parliament that oversees and holds the Minister to account on issues relating to his Ministry, amongst others.
In his preliminary report, the Minister took the Committee through the process that his department employs to keep track of the movement of the people entering and leaving South Africa.
He also went into the process that is followed within his department when permits are issued. Unfortunately, during the said briefing, the Minister went into the merits of our pending criminal trial as well as the existing internal processes within his Ministry in which he is the appeals authority. This is one of the processes that my wife and I should follow during the process that has been interdicted by the High Court in South Africa, which the Minister also indicated that he was disappointed when our rights were protected by the Court.
The Minister further went on to state that our Permanent Residence permits are irregular and therefore our stay in South Africa is unlawful because (1) My wife and I misrepresented facts to induce his department to issue the permits and (2) his department-issued incorrect permits to us due to their oversight. Therefore, his department has decided to revoke our permits. This is but one of the many injustices that I feared would befall me and my wife.
Moreover, this internal process is already prejudged by the Minister before I submit my representations on why our permits should not be revoked because we did nothing wrong. The Minister went on to state that my wife and I hold five different passports each. The impression is that these are passports with different names and details. Once again, this issue is before the High Court in South Africa.
This statement by the Minister further strengthens my fear that I will not get a fair trial in South Africa. For the record, my wife and I have 5 passports each, one of which is a diplomatic passport and one is a normal passport. we submitted all these passports to the Investigating Officer in South Africa because we are frequent travelers due to the work of our ministry, the other passports are full, however, they have international visas, and hence we kept them. There is nothing sinister about that. Even the Immigration Department in Malawi has attested to that.
In this regard, it would never be an understatement to conclude that of the fears of the injustices that I am fearing, the reason I came to Malawi, has just been confirmed by Honourable Motsoaledi. The whole world was watching and saw for themselves. I need to underline that I came to Malawi not to seek political intervention. I came to Malawi to seek justice before the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. I have a strong belief in the Constitution of Malawi because it protects its every citizen including my wife and I.
Moreso, because of that, I will be presenting myself before law enforcement agencies this morning to legally explain and defend the decisions that I made to come to Malawi. I am innocent until proven guilty. As of now, there is no Court in the world that has proven me guilty. I may be subjected by media and public trial but I maintain my innocence until proven guilty.
It is unfortunate, therefore, to have the Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa to intentionally and unfairly mislead the people of South Africa and the whole world in this regard. I cannot have a fair trial in South Africa,” read a statement from Prophet Bushiri.
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