shepherd bushiri

Photo: Twitter / Shepherd Bushiri

Shepherd Bushiri fraud case postponed: This is what we know

Bushiri was thankful for the unrelenting support he has received from his followers.

shepherd bushiri

Photo: Twitter / Shepherd Bushiri

Shepherd Bushiri, a controversial pastor whose followers revere him as the second coming of Jesus Christ, and his wife, Mary, made a brief appearance at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, in Pretoria, on Thursday.

Why is Shepherd Bushiri in court?

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 were guilty of 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, and on Thursday, the case suffered yet another delay.

Why has the case been postponed?

It appears that the State had asked for the postponement, to allow Bushiri’s defence, led by Advocate Barry Roux, to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The details of these representations, the State says, it does not know. Alas, the request was granted and the matter has been postponed until Friday, 29 November.

The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) issued a statement shortly after proceedings were concluded in court, thanking the scores of Major 1’s followers for coming out in droves to show him support.

“We are deeply moved by the displays of immense levels of support and compassion from all over South Africa as a country, SADC region and, indeed, the whole world. We appreciate the kind words of encouragement, the prayers and warm thoughts,” the church noted.

However, the church claimed that it was wary of divulging any information on the ongoings of the case, and therefore, Bushiri was not going to be addressing the public or the media.

“However, we would like to advise the public and, most importantly, members of the media that court appearance is a matter which is sub judice, neither the communications director Ephraim Nyondo, the external media relations nor the head of legal services Terrance Baloyi in their different capacities as spokesperson of the prophet will be offering interviews, comments, or divulging any information.

“We urge the church to remain steadfast and committed in prayer. Otherwise, there will be no further update updates until further notice,” the statement read.

Bushiri too, took the opportunity to thank his followers for the continued support, on Twitter.