It's just another day at the office for self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, just three months after first being arrested on charges relating to money-laundering and fraud.
Bushiri and his wife Mary appeared in court in Pretoria on Tuesday last week. According to TimesLIVE, the Hawks said the court appearance was moved earlier after security concerns.
Briefly.co.za reported that Bushiri and his wife were arrested by the Hawks on grounds of fraud and money-laundering. The arrest came only hours after the CRL Commission found Bushiri was not responsible for the stampede at his church, which resulted in the death of three people. The CRL Commission found his church was not in violation of the safety regulations, and therefore, he could not be held accountable for incident.
Social media users accused the prophet of swindling them out of thousands of Rands. Several South Africans came forward to share stories of how they allegedly lost money to Bushiri. One woman, Reneilwe Mphahlele, alleges that she paid an excessive R21 000 during Easter 2017 for a one-on-one visit with the pastor. She said she regrets her decision because it did not yield any results. She claims the pastor said he had “expensive tastes”. She added that she now realises that God is for free. It is unclear whether or not these stories have any connection to the charges against Bushiri.
After a brief suspension of church services, Bushiri is back to preaching to his loyal congregants. He posts frequent updates to his almost 4 million followers on Facebook. He has been hosting sermons and running church workshops - it's business as usual.
He is due back in court in August.
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