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Couple released unconditionally in Malawi

Bushiris forfeit R5.5m property to state

Shepherd Bushiri, the leader of the Enlightened Church Christian Gathering, and wife his Mary.
Shepherd Bushiri, the leader of the Enlightened Church Christian Gathering, and wife his Mary.
Image: File

Fugitive Shepperd Bushiri and his wife Mary have forfeited their R5.5m property in Centurion, Pretoria, after the pair violated their bail conditions by leaving SA.

Magistrate Thandi Theledi asked for the Bushiris to be called three times at their hearing yesterday before making the ruling. The property was tied to the couple's bail. 

The Bushiris fled SA for their home country Malawi last week while facing charges of theft, money laundering and fraud in connection with an alleged R100m investment scheme that went belly up.

They had been released on R200,000 bail each earlier this month.

They confirmed their escape on Facebook on Saturday morning. On Monday, the Pretoria magistrate’s court granted the Hawks a warrant of arrest for the Bushiris. On Wednesday, the Hawks said the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria also issued warrants for the arrest of the Bushiris, who faced charges of fraud and money laundering.

The Bushiris handed themselves over to police in Malawi on Wednesday but were yesterday released from custody unconditionally. 

According to Malawian newspaper The Nation Online, the couple appeared in court yesterday where magistrate Viva Nyimba said the arrest of the Bushiris was illegal.

Nyimba reportedly ordered that Bushiri and his wife be released in the interest of justice. Nyimba sad the two voluntarily surrendered themselves to police and there is no risk that they would not comply with further obligations.

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