Shepherd Bushiri court

Photo: Gallo Images

Bushiri latest: Justice Dept denies ‘court documents’ were stolen live on TV

The Shepherd Bushiri court case took a turn for the weird this week, after a clerk was accused of stealing important files in full-view of TV cameras.

Shepherd Bushiri court

Photo: Gallo Images

A bizarre conspiracy theory has forced the Justice Department to debunk some damning rumours about the Shepherd Bushiri court case. Eagle-eyed viewers of the proceedings in Gauteng spotted a court clerk allegedly taking important documents from the judge’s bench – after Pastor Bushiri allegedly gave a signal.

Watch: Did someone steal court documents for Shepherd Bushiri?

The two video clips have spread like wildfire on social media, leading many to believe that Bushiri – who remains behind bars until Wednesday at the earliest – continues to fight for bail in a R100 million fraud case. The footage that has sparked all of this gossip, and it can be viewed here. But please, take these captions with a pinch of salt.

Justice Department debunks ‘missing court documents’ theory

So, have we stumbled across a judicial conspiracy? That’s not the case at all, says Justice Department spokesperson Steve Mahlangu. The ministry has issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming that all bench notes were safely returned to their rightful places during the end of the court session yesterday.

It’s since been clarified that the file in the video was temporarily given to a journalist, who wanted to read the charge sheet.

“The department conducted a full investigation and it can be confirmed that the bench notes of the magistrate are in possession of the relevant court officials. It is standard practice for the clerk of the court to retrieve the charge sheet, as the custodian of the court records, for further processing and storage.”

“The interaction between the clerk of the court and the journalist seen in the video/images was based on the journalist requesting to have sight of the charge sheet. This is allowed and does not imply that any documents were removed from the courtroom. Therefore, the docket was not part of the documents that were exchanged.”

Steve Mahlangu