Malawian news channels report that police arrested Bushiri and his wife in the early hours of Wednesday morning
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, have been arrested at their home in Malawi this morning.
Rainbow Television Malawi reported on Wednesday that Malawian police officers raided the fugitive’s home in Lilongwe and took the couple into custody…
Unconfirmed reports from Times 360 Malawi‚ quoting police officers from that country‚ said that 15 police officers were involved in the arrest of Bushiri which occurred during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
This comes as SA's elite crime fighting unit the Hawks on Wednesday confirmed that a second warrant of arrest had been issued for them after their failure to appear before the Pretoria High Court.
“The North Gauteng High Court has issued warrants for the arrest of fugitives Mr Shepherd Bushiri and Ms Mary Bushiri who broke bail conditions and fled to Malawi several days ago. The high court issued the warrants yesterday‚ Tuesday‚ 17 November 2020‚” said Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale.
Bushiri‚ meanwhile‚ said on social media on Wednesday morning that he intended to present himself to the police in Malawi.
Protesting his innocence‚ he said: "I will be presenting myself before law enforcement agencies this morning to legally explain and defend the decisions that I made to come to Malawi."
"I need to underline that I came to Malawi not to seek political intervention. I came to Malawi to seek justice before the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. I have strong belief in the Constitution of Malawi because it protects its every citizen including my wife and I."
The self-proclaimed prophet who leads the Enlightened Gathering Church – a mega church with thousands of members from across the world – are facing charges of fraud and money-laundering involving more than R100 million.
The couple had been granted bail of R200‚000 each after two weeks behind bars and were required to present themselves to a police station twice a week.
They have failed to do so since last week Friday‚ with Bushiri instead taking to his Facebook page on Saturday to announce that he and his wife had fled the country‚ saying they feared for their lives.
Their trial had been scheduled to start on January 2021.
“During [Tuesday’s] court proceedings‚ the matter was postponed to 7 December 2020 for the formal withdrawal of bail and forfeiture of the bail deposit‚” said Mogale.
“South Africa has initiated legal proceedings to secure the extradition of the fugitives‚” she added.
Besides losing the hefty money they paid for their bail‚ the Bushiri’s also stand to forfeit their Pretoria residence to the state if they do not return to the country.
This is a developing story.