His followers call him and his wife their Papa and Mama. They wave placards and call the cops the agents of the devil. But in spite of songs and prayer, Papa and Mama Bushiri are still behind bars!
Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Tshwane yesterday, threatening not to vote if their leader was not released. Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary appeared briefly on charges of fraud, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
His followers, members of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, waved billboards with “Free our Papa and Mama” written on them. They sang hymns and blocked the street, chanting, “No Major 1, no vote”.
Supporters accused the Hawks and the police of being the agents of evil. They said their leader was innocent and knew he was going to be arrested even before his arrest.
They poured anointing oils on the Hawks’ vehicles and prayed over them, saying the cops needed deliverance. The members said if the government cared about South Africa they would release the pair. But their demands fell on deaf ears. Bushiri and his wife, Mary, are bracing themselves for two more nights behind bars as their case was postponed until tomorrow.
Incredible Happenings church leader, Prophet Mboro told followers they should support their leader in a smart way so they don’t jeopardise his case.
Hawks spokeswoman Phindile Louw said the postponement was to allow the state to carry out further investigation.
“They will appear again for a formal bail application on Wednesday but for now they will remain in police custody,” she said.
Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “The Hawks’ case against the pair stems from 2015 and is related to foreign currency.”
He said about R16 million in US currency was allegedly used for the purchase of a private jet.