On Monday 04 January Hundreds gathered outside Pretoria court in support, bearing photos and placards that read “Major 1 is innocent “as he is affectionately known to his followers. Prophet Bushiri and his wife Mary appeared in court on charges of fraud and money laundering. The case was postponed to Wednesday as the court ruled that, the pair were to remain in police custody to allow the state to carry out further investigations and the defense lawyer to prepare for bail. Pastor Paseka Mboro was in attendance to show support, he also asked Bushiri’s followers to remain calm and attend tonight’s service. The couple spent the weekend in jail, after they were arrested in a hotel in Rustenburg in the North West.
It was business as usual at the Tshwane event center, home to the ECG church, as it opened its doors for the first since the last crossing over service that led to the tragic death of three women and 17 injured in an apparent stampede. The Bushiri’s devotees flooded the place on Sunday 03 January, whilst the self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri spent their weekend behind bars. The couple was arrested on Friday at the Sparkling Waters Resort in Rusternburg in the North West on charges of fraud and money laundering dating back to 2015.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in his statement “The Hawks’ case against the pair concerns alleged offences of fraud, money laundering and contravention of the prevention of organized crimes (POCA) committed from 2015 in relation to exchange control regulations, related to foreign currency in amount of 1147200 USD”.
The controversial prophet has allegedly been sending R15 million per month to his home country, Malawi. The money was transported in his private jet. Bushiri’s church released a statement, shortly after his arrest. “They took the prophet and our mother, the prophetess Mary Bushiri in handcuffs to Pretoria. They have been charged with fraud and money laundering. As you will remember, we have struggled with reports that our father was guilty. We have repeatedly learnt from different media houses that we were under investigation, at some point accurate reports pointed out the fact that certain people within the police had demanded bribes amounting to R10 million”.
The couple was arrested after CRL cleared the ECG church of any wrong doing following the tragic death of three women in an apparent stampede at the Tshwane Event Center during a church service in December last year.
BY: MEGAN SELLO.
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