- Shepherd Bushiri is not impressed after a vehicle belonging to his church was intercepted at the Beitbridge border
- A 35-year-old suspect has been arrested and is set to appear in court on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen vehicle
- This has prompted the church to issue a statement denying any ties to the controversial 'prophet'
Shepherd Bushiri is once again in the spotlight, this time after a vehicle belonging to the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church was intercepted at the Zimbabwean border.
A 35-year-old suspect is set to appear in the Musina Magistrates court after being placed under arrest at the Beitbridge border.
The arrest was made by the Hawks division, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (DPCI) Serious Organised Crime Investigation.
A statement released by the body revealed that a transported had been stopped with a total of six passengers.
When the vehicle was checked it was discovered that it indeed belonged to the church founded by Bushiri.
The statement noted that the occupants had declared they were on the way to a conference in Malawi.
An affidavit, signed off by one of the church board members, authorised the man to take the vehicle into Zimbabwe on the way to Malawi.
The DPCI says that the vehicle is part of the assets attached to the Provisional Liquidation order against the pastor, which includes assets belonging to the church.:
“It is suspected that the vehicle was being smuggled across the border under the guise of attending the conference. It also suspected that the liquidators were not informed this activity. The driver was arrested as nothing belonging to the Bushiri’s estate is allowed to be taken from the Republic or South Africa or any other country.”
The church itself has slammed the situation, adamant that the Hawks had no right to seize the vehicle:
“He is not a director of ECG South Africa or PSBM or any entity related thereon. The Church, ECG SA is independent from him and any activity by ECG SA director/s or Ministry, he is not involved, thus any activity thereof cannot and should not be imputed to him or construed as such.”
In a statement responding to the incident, the church was adamant that the SA Police Service had been informed and had given permission for the vehicle to pass through the border:
“Shockingly, it seems a certain sector of the Police who granted permission is hell bent to destroyed and/or defamed Prophet’s name in that, one authority or to be specific SAPS grants permission, another authority known as Hawks call it crime and therefore denounce such permission.”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, may have managed to flee to Malawi in a bid to escape trial in SA, but their days appear numbered.
In a statement released by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, it was confirmed that SA has formally requested the prophet's extradition.
This will now prompt an assessment process in Malawi to determine whether the couple can be brought back.
Commenting on the matter which has garnered an immense amount of public attention Minister Ronald Lamola signalled his confidence:
"Given our sound and health diplomatic, strategic and political relationship, and our common citizenship of the SADC Community, we are convinced that the Republic of Malawi will honour the letter and spirit of every provision of their International and regional obligations."
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