Bushiri donates R400k to Alex fire victims
Controversial prophet Shepherd Bushiri has donated almost R400,000 to the community of Alexandra following a shack fire this week.
The leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering Church made the donation to the Stjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra, Johannesburg, after the devastating fire that was caused by an unattended brazier.
The donation was confirmed by Makhudu Sefara, the head of Unscripted Communication, which speaks on behalf of Bushiri.
"Prophet Bushiri today [on Thursday] visited Alexandra and he then went to the area where the shacks had caught fire. He was very touched by what happened, especially by the disclosure that there were children who lost their clothes, books, school uniform and did not have resources to help them with their school work.
"He was touched by their plight and, as the children are the future, he decided on the spot that he will donate the money and help the affected children," said Sefara.
The blaze, which spread after an electricity pylon caught fire and fell on top of shacks, left scores of people without homes and the damage is estimated to be between R3m and R5m.
Sefara said Bushiri promised the affected that he would return next week to provide more assistance, especially relating to religion.
Sefara added that Bushiri was not there to take anything away from the community but just to assist them.
Asked if Bushiri's efforts were not aimed at cleaning up his image following his and his wife's arrest last month, Sefara said the fraud charges that Major 1, as Bushiri is affectionately called by his followers, is facing are weak.
Bushiri and his wife Mary were arrested in February by the Hawks for crimes that have allegedly been committed since 2015. They include fraud, money laundering and contravention of The Prevention of Organised Crime Act, and flouting exchange control laws relating to foreign currency valued at R16m.
The Bushiris are due back in court in May.
Sefara said: "Prophet Bushiri doesn't have to clean his image in Alexandra. The charges proferred against him are very weak and he will prove that in the court of law."
He said Bushiri went to Alexandra as a leader of society and he didn't invite the media.
"He didn't chase away journalists who found him there. His interest was not to create a media jamboree but to assist the people affected by the fire."