shepherd bushiri

Photo: Twitter / Shepherd Bushiri

Bushiri money laundering case moves to trial: Here’s what we know

It is time for Bushiri and his wife to face the music and this time around, the fraud case has finally been given a date.

shepherd bushiri

Photo: Twitter / Shepherd Bushiri

Self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri is in bigger trouble than he might have initially thought. His fraud and money laundering case, previously heard at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, has been transferred over to the Pretoria High Court, where he will be prosecuted criminally.

What is Bushiri in trouble for?

The self-proclaimed prophet, known to his followers as “Major 1” or “Papa” is facing charges related to fraud and money laundering, emanating from illicit business activities that allegedly contravene the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The Hawks have pursued the case since 2015, and after they had declared that Bushiri and his wife, Mary, committed crimes “in relation to Exchange Control Regulations related to foreign currency in an amount of $1,147,200”, the matter was taken to the courts. The pair is currently out on R200 000 bail

Why has the case been moved to High Court?

As reported by Sowetan, Bushiri and his wife appeared before the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, on Friday, followed by a large group of supporters who were clad in the self-proclaimed prophet’s merchandise.

“People from Angola, Malawi, Israel and the US came here today. It shows the power and the love the people have for their leader. They always support him because he is their voice,” his spokesperson, Ephraim Nyondo, told the media.

For the most part, the jurisdiction of the specialised commercial crimes court only allows cases of commercial criminality.

Initially, the fraud and money laundering case against Bushiri fell within the spectrum of ‘white-collar’ crime, which lies within the realm of the commercial crimes court.

Often, matters are settled there. However, due to the nature of the case against Bushiri, and the evidence contained in the Hawks’ investigation, the matter has been transferred to the Pretoria High Court for criminal prosecution.

The trial has been set for 27 July 2020, where Bushiri and his wife face a maximum fine of up to R100-million, and/or imprisonment of up to 30 years.

The pastor’s supporters have not lost any faith in their leader, though. Melody Dzingai, a devout supporter of Bushiri, revealed that the charges have not swayed her perception of the couple.

“Whatever the case may be, we are still here. We rally behind him because we’ve seen how beneficial his life and that of his wife is to us,” she said.