Eric Wood

Businessman Eric Wood. Image: Supplied

Eric Wood gets bail: Will he flee SA like Bushiri or return to stand trial?

Will Eric Wood return to SA to stand trial for his alleged crimes at Transnet or will he skip bail like ‘Prophet’ Shepherd Bushiri?

Eric Wood

Businessman Eric Wood. Image: Supplied

Could Eric Wood soon be wanted in SA? The businessman, who has been charged with corruption and fraud over Transnet’s controversial 1 064 locomotives deal and is out on R250 000 bail, on 7 September 2022 got permission to leave SA after Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi ruled that the state should hand over his UK and SA passports.

The former Regiments shareholder and Trillian director told the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court the he planned to travel to Spain and the UK to visit his parents and daughter respectively.

ALSO READ: Brian Molefe, others granted bail for alleged Transnet fraud


Before Nemavhidi granted the order for the relaxation of Wood’s bail conditions, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) opposed the application. The state, through advocate Peter Masiakwala, told the court it was concerned Wood would skip bail and not return to SA to stand trial.

Eric Wood
Eric Wood sits in the dock at the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court on Wednesday. Image: NPA Communications

The state contended that Eric Wood would abscond like Malawi’s self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and the Gupta family, who are currently in custody in the UAE.

ALSO READ: Gupta arrests: ANC calls for SA, UAE authorities to expedite extradition

And the state’s concerns are justified.


After being released on R200 000 bail (the same amount as Eric Wood) by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, Bushiri and his wife Mary skipped bail and fled South Africa for their native Malawi. They got bail after spending weeks in police custody.

They face charges of fraud and money laundering to the tune of R102 million.

ALSO READ: Home Affairs: Officials suspended for Bushiri’s SA residency approval

While extradition efforts continue, Major 1 – as he is commonly known – recently claimed that SA agents were in Malawi in an attempt to kidnap him.

“We are extremely dismayed and astonishingly shocked by continuous intrusion into the private space of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and also attempts to kidnap him by some recognisable security personnel from South Africa,” a spokesperson was reported as saying.


Atul and Rajesh Gupta, accused of being at the forefront of state capture in South Africa with the aid of former president Jacob Zuma, were arrested in the United Arab Emirates in June.

The brothers, who were allied with Eric Wood via Trillian and Regiments during their time in South Africa, fled the country in 2017 at the height criminal accusations emanating from the Gupta leaks.

On 31 August 2022, Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola told Parliament the brothers were still in Dubai police custody and they had been denied bail. Extradition efforts by the South African government are continuing, he added.

ALSO READ: Guptas are behind bars, bail has been DENIED