By Chancy Namadzunda:
Republic of South Africa has commenced extradition processes of enstranged Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church and his wife Mary.
On Saturday news broke out of how the couple fled the rainbow nation amid hanging corruption charges on them which has seen authorities in South Africa confiscating their travel documents.
In a statement released on Saturday morning Bushiri confirmed to have left South Africa on security grounds as the couple fears for their life.
However the statement could not give out details as to how the Bushiri’s found their way out of the rainbow nation.
In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the South African government has confirmed to have commenced extradition processes of Bushiri and his wife.
The statement has further dismissed social media talk that President Lazarus Chakwera who this week was on a state visit in South Africa aided Bushiri’s escape.
“President Chakwera and his delegation departed from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria and stopped over at OR Tambo International Airport to collect an additional number of officials who had travelled to South Africa earlier to prepare for the working visit. Department of Home Affairs immigration officials verified the identities of all passengers and Mr and Ms Bushiri were not on the flight,” reads part of the statement signed by Government Communication and Information System official Phumla Williams.
The statement further states that to that Bushiri and his wife face justice, South Africa has initiated a process to secure their extradition from Malawi in terms of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Extradition and other legal instruments, to which Malawi is a signatory.
“While this process is underway, law-enforcement agencies will continue investigations into this matter,” reads the statement.
Earlier, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said Shepherd Bushiri has set a bad example by fleeing South Africa.
She said Bushiri is behaving wrongly and that everyone is equal under the law.
“You ignore the law, violate the law, then you dictate the terms on which you have to be held accountable. It does not work that way.”
The Bushiri’s were last week granted bail by a South African court after having spent almost two weeks in custody on allegations of fraud, tax evasion as well as dubious travel documents