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Malawian millionaire preacher, Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary who recently jumped bail in South Africa and fled to his home country of Malawi have said that he fled South Africa because his life was in danger.
A warrant has been issued in Pretoria for his arrest under charges of theft, fraud and money-laundering involving over 5.5 million euros but he was released on Thursday by a court in the capital Lilongwe after turning themselves into Malawian Police report says.
Bushiri addressed a crowd outside the court after regaining freedom, ‘I have come here looking for the constitutional help that protects citizens.’
‘My life was in danger in South Africa. I have opened cases against people in South Africa, the police officers who were arresting me.’
‘A lot of death threats, I have survived a lot of death attempts and also extortion. It is so disappointing that the government of South Africa is not commenting anything about these people I opened cases against.’
A Malawian magistrate court released them unconditionally ruling that their arrest was illegal. According to the couple’s attorney Wapona Kita, Chief magistrate Viva Nyimba ruled their arrest illegal on the grounds that the warrant had not been channelled through the relevant ministry, ‘The matter did not go through the minister of homeland security, as is supposed to be the case.’
On the other hand, a South African magistrate has ordered the forfeiture of their 300,850 euro luxury home, located in a gated estate near Pretoria where the married couple lived in recent years. The property’s title deed has been handed to the police as part of the bail condition.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed concern over the entire matter and has also vowed to ‘take action.’
Authorities in South Africa have also sought to extradite Bushiri and his spouse from Malawi. The source of his wealth is believed to have been acquired through donations from his Church in Pretoria. The 37-year-old mogul, who is known for an opulent lifestyle, has huge investments in the mining, telecommunications and luxury sector and is also revered amongst his religious followers for performing ‘miracles.’
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK