Prophet Bushiri's R102 million fraud case gets Zambian man languish in jail, tries to flee 3 times

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A co-accused in the R102 million fraud case of self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri is expected to find out the outcome of his bail application next week.

Zambian national Willah Mudolo appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday for judgment in the bail application.

However, the judgment was postponed to 15 June.

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Bushiri and his wife, Mary, were released on bail in the same court in November and soon after, they returned to their homeland of Malawi.

Mudolo, his wife Zethu, Landiwe Ntlokwana and the Bushiris face charges of fraud, theft and money laundering in relation to a scam in which investors were allegedly defrauded out of R102 million. Mudolo was the only accused in the case who was denied bail.

BAIL APPLICATION ON NEW FACTS

But in another bail bid, based on new facts, Mudolo argued that he only had one valid passport and that other passports linked to him contained the incorrect dates of birth. In an affidavit, he told the court that he corrected the error in 2018.

However, the State said that despite applying for the correction, Mudolo had still chosen to use the passport to travel and to register a company.

The new facts Mudolo presented were that:

Mudolo also rejected an affidavit by his previous attorney, a Mr Du Plessis. He said he never instructed Du Plessis to represent him and his wife.

He denied that Du Plessis warned him about his impending arrest, saying that he would not have taken a business trip out of South Africa before resolving issues relating to the arrest.Mudolo also reiterated his denial of claims that he had been found in possession of a cellphone while in custody at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria.

News24 previously reported on the cellphone claims and that Mudolo had signed a document admitting that he had a cellphone. The device was allegedly used to WhatsApp several people, including an unknown person who claimed to have an advocate who could help facilitate a bribe to get him out of prison.

But Mudolo claimed the Department of Correctional Services forged his signature.

The State argued that nothing Mudolo presented to the court constituted new facts and submitted that the accused was able to generate funds while incarcerated, as pointed out in his first bail application.

The State also presented evidence that Mudolo, while he was in custody, managed to repay a R8.2 million loan he had taken out on one of his properties.

FIRST BAIL JUDGMENT

In the first bail application, Magistrate Thandi Theledi found that Mudolo was a flight risk, having attempted to flee the country three times before his arrest.

The court did not accept his defence that he was on a business trip.

Theledi also accepted the evidence of a home affairs official who testified that he was not in the country legally because his visitor's visa had expired.

The court found that access to large sums of money meant it was possible for Mudolo to flee and added that it would be difficult to extradite him.

Furthermore, Theledi accepted the State's evidence that Mudolo had a cellphone in his possession in prison.

— News24


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