The state has concluded investigations in the R102m fraud case against self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and is ready to go to trial on the matter.
This comes after the Pretoria magistrate’s court granted the state a final postponement in the case last year stating that failure to do so would result in an inquiry in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, where the court would decide if there was undue delay.
The court had said if it found any undue delay, it would decide if the matter continued or would be struck off the roll.
Bushiri, leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, his wife Mary and their co-accused face charges of fraud, theft and money-laundering relating to an alleged scam in which investors lost R102m.
On Tuesday, Willard Mudolo, Zethu Mudolo, Landiwe Ntlokwana, Namalarvasagie Reddy, Sateesh Isseri and Stephanie Olivier appeared at the Pretoria magistrate’s court.
Bushiri and his wife fled to Malawi in November 2020, a few days after they were granted bail of R200,000 each under strict conditions. Bushiri later took to social media to say he fled because of safety concerns. They face an extradition hearing in Malawi.
The state has previously said it is able to continue with the trial despite the absence of the couple and has throughout maintained that the charges against the accused were serious.
The state furnished the court and the defence with the indictment and told the court the matter was ready to be transferred to the high court.
The investment scheme Bushiri and his co-accused were involved in was allegedly administered through a company owned by Willard Mudolo and Zethu Mudolo.
Bushiri and his wife were linked to the matter after a company in which Reddy is a director and Isseri is COO, had dealings with the Mudolos' company.
The matter has been postponed to April 20 for the allocation of a high court date.