Image via: @psbushiri / Twitter

Bushiri latest: Answers sought as prophet allegedly returns to SA unnoticed

The DA have demanded answers after reports emerged that Bushiri and his wife returned to SA ‘several times’ since fleeing last year.


Image via: @psbushiri / Twitter

After reports emerged over the weekend that self-proclaimed prophet and fugitive Shephard Bushiri and his wife Mary have returned to South Africa multiple times since they fled in late 2020, the Democratic Alliance (DA) have demanded answers. 

Bushiri fled South Africa to his home country of Malawi with his wife when they were granted bail in 2020, with the couple having previously been charged with fraud, money laundering and theft of more than R102 million.

Bushiri and wife allegedly return to SA ‘several times’ 

On Sunday, 20 June, 2021 the City Press reported that security agencies are investigating credible claims that the wanted fugitive and his wife Mary, have been in the country several times since his dramatic escape in 2020. The paper reported that the Bushiris most recent visit was two months ago.

The Hawks said that they will not comment on the report, but appealed to the public to inform them should they have any credible information corroborating the allegations.

Angel Khanyile, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, said in a statement on Monday 21 June that the opposition party will write to the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi to find out whether the reports are true. 

“It is also time that the Minister and law enforcement agencies updated Parliament on the progress of investigations into how the Bushiris, who faced charges of fraud, money laundering and theft of more than R102 million, managed to escape the country under the watchful eye of Home Affairs and law enforcement officials last year while they were out on bail,” she said. 

“We also require an update regarding the progress government has made in regard to the extradition proceedings of the Bushiris which was reportedly started in November 2020.”

DHA blunder ‘simply embarrassing’  

Khanyile said that the “seeming ineptitude of South Africa’s border management system” in allowing the Bushiris to leave the country and evade arrest was damning. “The allegations that internationally wanted fugitives could so easily slip back and forth across South Africa’s increasing porous borders on three occasions is a major indictment of our law enforcement agencies and border security protocols,” she said. 

The latest suggestion that Bushiri and his wife have regularly returned to South Africa is utterly embarrassing, she said.

“That the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) allegedly managed to let the Bushiris slip through their net on their second visit to the country since fleeing the coup, is simply embarrassing. The Hawks are supposed to be the cream of the South African Polices Service (SAPS) crop, and yet the Bushiris reportedly escaped in an un-searched Uber.”