- The plot surrounding Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary seems to thicken on a daily basis
- It has now emerged that the infamous couple never had the proper documentation to be in South Africa in the first place
- The pair also didn't possess the needed documentation to operate businesses in the country either
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary never had the proper documentation to be in South Africa, nor did they had the legal right to operate businesses in the country.
This is according to Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi who discussed the controversial couple before the portfolio committee overseeing his department.
Motsoaledi told Parliament that Home Affairs had gotten involved with the pair last year after the Hawks began probing the money laundering case against the couple.
The Minister revealed that official records reveal that Mary entered SA in 2012 via OR Tambo International Airport and had shown officials a permanent residence permit that she claimed was issued in 1997:
“Obviously this is surprising because people don’t just get permanent residence permit when they enter for the first time here. She produced it and said it was given to her in 1997. On our movement control system we don’t have any record of her entering the country in 1997."
As for the prophet himself, Motsoaledi revealed that his businesses had been illegal from the very beginning:
“Mr Bushiri himself entered South Africa round about 2009. But the real movement control system indicates 2013. So we take 2013 as authentic because it is recorded officially. In 2014, 2015, 2016 Mr Bushiri registered companies and started conducting business. At this juncture, Mr Bushiri should have applied for a business visa as is demanded by the law. This means the businesses he was running were not within the law.”
Both had declared in court that they had entered the country at a later stage, with the Minister explaining:
“They declared under oath that they entered South Africa for the first time in 2015. They were granted these permanent residence permits in 2016 which I must state this was issued irregularly because there was misrepresentation of facts. This matter is being investigated.”
Meanwhile, the Hawks have issued a statement revealing that they have requested Interpol's assistance apprehending the pair.
Colonel Katlego Mogale explained that the group has applied for a Red Notice seeking assistance arresting the couple:
“Extradition means you know where the suspect is. A Red Notice is to let the other country [Malawi] know you are looking for that person [Bushiris] and through Interpol. Should they have that person in their country, law enforcement agencies in that country must ensure that he [wanted person] is provisionally arrested. So that we can arrest him with our warrant. We have applied for a Red Notice for the Bushiris through Interpol."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that a recent report has alleged that Shepherd and Mary Bushiri made their way out of South Africa through the Beitbridge border post.
According to the report the controversial religious leaders allegedly paid officials at the post in order to escape. Media and social media alike have been abuzz since the news emerged that the couple had fled to Malawi.
From their bail conditions, the Bushiris risk forfeiting their R5.5m property. They have already forked out a whopping R400 000 as they were released on R200 000 bail each.
It's also been reported that the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court issued the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) with a warrant of arrest for The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader and his wife.
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