Leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife have left South Africa and are in Malawi , Nyasa Times has learnt and confirmed with the prophet himself.
Bushiri and his wife travelled to Malawi despite surrendering all their travelling documents to authorities in South Africa after they were granted bail by Pretorial Magistrate Court in a case which they were charged of fraud and money laundering charges related to an investment scheme valued at about R102m.
The ECG Church leader confirmed that he and his wife in Malawi for what he called “safety and security”.
He said they are in Malawi “ temporarily”, saying since 2015 they have been facing persecution.
“There have been clear and evident attempts to have myself, my wife and my family killed and despite our several attempts to report to authorities, there has never been State protection,” he said.
He added that his coming to Malawi is a tactical withdrawal from Republic of South Africa solely meant to preserve our lives.
“These attempts have been heightened with recent spates of arrests and detentions that we felt the only way for us to clear our names before the law is to ensure that our lives are preserved. My wife and I strongly believe in our innocence but this cannot be proved if our lives are not preserved. We have to be alive to testify to our innocence,” he said.
He added: “As we stand here, we were arrested in 2019 on allegedly money laundering charges and it’s getting to three years now without trial because the State is not ready to give it.
“As we keep waiting for that trial to come, we were arrested again, kept in custody for over two weeks and we are not sure if we will face trial. Equally shocking is the fact that as we kept waiting to get the facts of the recent arrest, the State brought up immigration issues that they, not us, owe the public an explanation. But they want us to explain,” he said.
He has since made five positions from government of South Africa.
“First, I want the South African government to assure us of our safety and security whilst in South Africa.
“Secondly, I want the South African government to assure us that our bail will not be revoked. Our right to fair trial entails that we have access to our lawyers all the time. Revocation of the bail defeats our right to fair trial and also expose us to further security and safety challenges.
“Thirdly, I want the officers involved in investigating, arresting and prosecuting us to recuse themselves. As earlier said, this is the same team that I earlier lodged complaint against and, also, opened cases against. I won’t have a fair trial with their continued involvement.
“Fourthly, I want the South African State to see to it that all the issues I lodged and opened against these officers must be pursued to their logical conclusion before proceeding with our case.
“Finally, I want the South African State to appoint independent and professional investigators and prosecutors who should make independent decisions on the cases we are allegedly accused of,” he said.
He has since requested Malawi government to liaise with the South African government to ensure that the above issues are met.
“Once these three issues are met and I am assured of a fair, just and impartial trial, I am willing to avail myself before the South Africa justice system.
“I am looking forward to that day because my wife and I have long waited for it to prove our innocence and clear our names.
“I will hold a press briefing in Lilongwe, Malawi, and it will be aired on all media networks across the world,” he said.
However, his travelled to Malawi will be regarded by South African authorities as jumping bail.
Ironically, Bushiri’s arrival in Malawi has coincided with the visit President Lazarus Chakwera has to South Africa. Chakwera returned home on Friday night as Bushiri has also been to Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :