Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary (in red).
PHOTO: Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images
- A Malawi court has ordered the immediate release of the Bushiris.
- According to their lawyer, the magistrate found their arrests were unlawful.
- The couple is wanted in South Africa in connection with a fraud and money laundering case, worth R102m.
A Malawi court has ordered the immediate release of wanted self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, lawyer Terrance Baloyi explained to News24 on Thursday.
Magistrate Viva Nyimba in his ruling said, among other things, their arrests by the Malawi Police Service were unlawful because it was not channelled through the Ministry of Homeland Security, according to Baloyi.
The pair, who are being represented by lawyer Wapona Kita, appeared before a Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe.
READ | Bushiris barred from using sermons to threaten witnesses as part of bail conditions in fraud case
The Malawi State had requested a 30-day remand to allow room for the process of extradition.
The Bushiris handed themselves over to the Lilongwe police on Wednesday after a notice was issued by Interpol on Monday.
The couple recently allegedly fled South Africa, which would have broken bail conditions set in a fraud and money laundering case before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
Bail has since been revoked.
They had previously been granted bail of R200 000 each on 4 November.
The Bushiris, Landiwe Ntlokwana, Zethu Mudolo and Willie Mudolo are facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering
The couple allegedly arrived in Malawi last Wednesday, and then made an announcement via various social media platforms on Saturday.
Bushiri claimed he did not feel safe in South Africa and feared he would not be afforded a fair trial.
In addition, he also made several demands to the South African government, News24 reported.
The fraud and money laundering case continued in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
As a result of failing to appear, the Bushiris forfeited their property in Centurion and bail was revoked.
More to follow.