Bushiri case hits snag, again, as South Africa witnesses fail to appear in court

In a twist of events, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s case has hit a snag—again—after South Africa failed to bring witnesses as ordered by the court in its earlier ruling.

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Steve Kayuni, asked the court this morning to, instead, allow the witnesses to testify through video conferencing.

Kayuni cited COVID-19 fears, availability of flights and costs of air travel as reasons for requesting for video conferencing.

However, Bushiri’s lawyer, Wapona Kita, objected to the application saying it is disappointed that after a whole month, the state has not brought witnesses from South Africa to testify as ruled.

Bushiri and his wife, Mary, arriving at the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on Friday Morning.

Kita argued that “there is no legal basis for such an arrangement,” and that “any application that is not supported by any standing law should be thrown out.”

He noted that with the Malawi court sitting physically, it was a mockery for a witness in South Africa not to appear, adding: “It presupposes that here in Malawi we are careless.”

He added that “if there is a particular witness with COVID-19 it makes sense to go video conferencing.”

Kita argued: “But there is none among the witnesses, as presented in the affidavit, who has tested positive.”

According to Kita, there is no evidence before the Court to show that there is a witness with underlying conditions as presented by the State.

Kita further argued that the Court must be slow in entertaining State arguments of using COVID-19 as an excuse of not bringing witnesses.

He also trashed Kayuni’s argument that witnesses didn’t show up because of availability of flights and costs of air travel.

Bushiri supporters outside the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court during a previous court appearance.

“There is no shortage of flights between Malawi and South Africa. My client’s South Africa lawyers are in the court today after using the same flights,” he submitted.

On the issues of flight costs, Kita wondered if the State implied that South Africa doesn’t have enough money to take care of the flight costs.

“The argument of the State presupposes those witnesses are poor people and that they will foot their own bills which is not the case,” he said.

Bushiri fled South Africa months ago, to seek justice before the Malawi courts over alleged money laundering charges after he was denied the same in South Africa.

According to Bushiri’s spokesman, Ephraim Nyondo, he thinks the trial is starting to mimic South Africa’s own process, where Prophet Bushiri was never brought before trial for over 3 years, with the state there changing goal posts on witnesses and evidence.

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Piper
Piper
11 months ago

Somehow it seems the SA government witnesses would have been available physically had it been this process was to done on South African soil. Since it’s in Malawi it suddenly appears to be an issue. Their lame accuses are there for anyone to see and one can only conclude their true intentions from the start.

happy people
happy people
11 months ago

they can never show up and withstand Malawian judicial system its 2 crystal for them

Naphiri
Naphiri
11 months ago

I want to know abale why Msundwe boys were present ku court.

ankhwinda
11 months ago

Mlanduwu ubachedwa choncho alendo ababwelabe ochuluka kumudzi kuno kuzamuona tsogoleri wawo kwinako forex ikulowa mochuluka ndithu, generally Bushiri ali ndichikoka ndithu.

Wamasokosi
Wamasokosi
11 months ago

Please tell me this is all a joke. You mean the South Africa 🇿🇦 and Malawi 🇲🇼 are this inefficient. South Africa in particular has to show some seriousness. You can’t be treating a high profile case like with this approach. Malawi government should just drop the case then and go home to chill. These South Africans witnesses are embarrassment.

Jah
Jah
11 months ago

Why are malawians celebrating with this crook???

SES
SES
11 months ago
Reply to  Jah

Are you media judge which is not acceptable in our democratic Malawi which respects her people.

Edward banda, son of major 1.
Edward banda, son of major 1.
11 months ago

why do the world wage against the anointed one?

Banda
Banda
11 months ago

Does not stop the request that South Africa wishes the extradition or the Interpol arrest warrant for the Bushiris. The Bushiris are landlocked to Malawi until the matter is deskt with in South Africa at least he is saving millions on travel costs no more expensive holidays,

SES
SES
11 months ago
Reply to  Banda

Noted jealous message

D Hilton
D Hilton
11 months ago

The video conferencing is a perfectly reasonable and sensible request given the circumstances.

I do not understand why Bushiri’s lawyer is objecting. It would give him the opportunity to cross examine those witnesses to help clear his clients’ names. Isn’t that what he wants?

Why is he putting up obstacles if he honestly believes he can prove his clients’ innocence? Surely the Bushiris want this resolved, but apparently it appears not. What are thet scared of?

M'memo wa Tonse alliance mwagwera mchenga
M'memo wa Tonse alliance mwagwera mchenga
11 months ago
Reply to  D Hilton

‘Given the circumstances’. D Hilton, what circumstances? If you can’t understand why Bushiri lawyer is objecting then it’s either you haven’t read through, or you haven’t read objectively enough, or you are just a bit too prejudiced, or you just have a problem understanding his arguments. Can anyone travel or be caused to travel between Malawi and South Africa for any reason? If no, we need covid or anything else, then why are we pushing for Bushiri extradition rather than have him stand trial in Malawi where he already is (there is a fully fledged justice system in Malawi, internationally… Read more »

Phaloni
Phaloni
11 months ago
Reply to  D Hilton

Just in case you have a small memory, the Supreme Court of Malawi refused MEC to hire SA lawyers for the same reason. Demeanor is very important in gauging whether a witness is being truthful or not…

Law Abiding SAn
Law Abiding SAn
11 months ago

I hope those who have been defending Bushiri using the Gupta defense are aware that as off a couple of days ago, the Guptas have just been added onto the red alert list and their assets worth R520m have been seized.

SES
SES
11 months ago

Do not compare this case with of Guptas .

Law Abiding SAn
Law Abiding SAn
11 months ago
Reply to  SES

Reading with comprehension is a skill.

Baba Tunde
Baba Tunde
11 months ago

Bushiri’s assets were also seized. What’s your point?

Law Abiding SAn
Law Abiding SAn
11 months ago
Reply to  Baba Tunde

Read with comprehension you will get my point.

Your fellow countrymen were saying South Africa must issue warrants against the Guptas too on these streets.

I hope my point is clear now.

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