The Hawks have denied social media reports that fraud and money laundering charges against self-proclaimed “prophet” Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, were dropped.
“It’s nonsense,” said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
“A total fabrication. We will not relent in our quest to fight serious crime in South Africa and will do so without fear or favour,” he said.
Mulaudzi said the Hawks condemned whoever was behind the fake document making the claims, doing the rounds on social media.
According to the fake document Mulaudzi announced, during a radio interview on Tuesday evening, that charges were dropped because of a “lack of preliminary evidence”.
The fake document read:
“Firstly, the whistleblowers provided us with incorrect information. When filling our online forms, they lied about their names by giving us fake identification and addresses. We have been verifying their details but nothing tangible has come up. That alone throws their credibility into serious doubt.”
It further states “information” received by the Hawks was “incredible as the whistleblowers had not provided identification, contact details and their position of authority.
“He also said his department is at pains to believe the information provided on the basis that it is utterly fictional,” the false statement said.
The phony document also dismissed claims Bushiri repatriated R15-million every month, using his private jet.
“What we have established and we already know is that the jet is always parked at government-run airports and airfields as such the prophet has to check in all his belongings normally as any passenger before he flies out. How can one in such a scenario sneak into the plane such a huge amount,” it read.
Bushiri and his wife were released on R100 000 bail each in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday morning.
Their strict bail conditions included requesting permission from the case’s investigation officer if they wanted to travel to any other province apart from Gauteng and the North West.
They are also not allowed to contact any state witnesses. The couple had to hand in their travel documents. They were arrested for alleged fraud, money laundering and contravention of the prevention of organised crime act in Rustenburg, North West last week.
– Rekord East