In a bid to secure bail, the first accused in alleged fraud involving members of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church has offered his R25 million home as surety.
Willah Mudolo continued with his bail application in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday. His wife Zethu Mudolo and Landiwe Ntlokwane Sindani were granted bail during a previous appearance.
The trio appeared once again without their co-accused Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary, who fled to their Malawi home and thus violated their bail conditions last month.
In an affidavit submitted to the court, Mudolo admitted his visitor’s visa had expired on April 30, but said he had intended to schedule appointments to reapply with the Department of Home Affairs once the national lockdown period was lifted.
He said allegations that he attempted to flee the country on three occasions before his arrest were untrue.
He said he had not even been aware that a warrant for his arrest had been issued and would never try to leave the country without his wife and two children.
He stated he had been trying to leave as he had business matters to attend to abroad and that the reason he had not boarded his flight was due to changes necessitated by outstanding Covid-19 test results. Had he known of the warrant of arrest, he would have contacted the investigating officer and provided his full co-operation.
Mudolo said he would be offering the family’s Sandhurst property valued between R23 million and R25m as security for his bail to be granted.
“I do not have any influence in my country of origin. My whole life, including my wife and children and all of my business interests, are vested in this country.
“I intend to plead not guilty and will provide evidence that all funds that were paid into the business account of Rising Estate without my knowledge on the instructions of Bushiri were repaid to his nominated account and various beneficiaries.”
He requested that bail be granted, taking into consideration he should be presumed innocent and especially considering that the extradition process to have Bushiri and his wife back in the country to stand trial could take between two and seven years.
Meanwhile, a relaxed Bushiri has continued to broadcast preparations for his year-end church service, the Miracle Night Crossover, to take place at Bingu Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi on December 31.
Bushiri said they were praying for the crossover night and believed something “was going to happen in his followers’ lives”.
He said as he had been praying, he was instructed by God to announce the night as a miracle night crossing over into the new year.
The self-proclaimed prophet made no mention of his legal battles or the impending trial during his most recent broadcast.