Malawi government is refusing to have Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri accusers in South Africa to appear before Lilongwe magistrate Court to authenticate evidence contained in the extradition request.
Bushiri’s lawyer, Wapona Kita, argued before the court that, according to Section 9 of the Extradition Act, witnesses are supposed to be paraded for authentication of evidence contained in the extradition request.
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steve Kayuni alleged that if it brings witnesses and evidence it would be violating the rights of the Bushiri’s by subjecting them to two trials – even though the Bushiri’s want the State to prove the witnesses exist and the evidence is sufficient.
He further argued that the affidavits sent by South Africa should be treated as evidence and the court must not accept witnesses to be called or the evidence against the Bushiri’s to be tested.
Kita, however, snapped Kayuni arguing that the State cannot rely solely on what is stated in the extradition request, without checking the authenticity of the information of if at all the evidence is sufficient or verified.
“The reasoning is that the State must not rely on evidence it has not seen or authenticated while pursuing an extradition. The Extradition Act itself in section 9 is clear that and how evidence must be received.
“It says the court has same jurisdictions as a preliminary enquiry and the hearing cannot deviate from that,” he said.
Bushiri himself has previously rejected all rape allegations levelled against him by women who had spoken out in the media. He accused the women of blackmail.
The flamboyant prophet is also on record as having blamed some officers in the South African Special Crimes Unit known as the Hawks of propagating the allegations as part of an extortion campaign. on.
Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has since adjourned the hearing to Monday 29th March for ruling on the matter.