Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Malawi detains fugitive pastor and his wife

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Self-proclaimed Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, surrendered to police in Lilongwe on Wednesday, five days after bail was skipped and fled South Africa.

Malawian media confirmed his arrest, reporting that a Pretoria court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for the suspects to be tried on charges of fraud, theft and money laundering involving $ 6 million.

They were arrested in mid-October and released on bail. The clergyman’s property, which includes a Gulfstream private jet, has been seized.

It is not known how they got out of South Africa because their passports were confiscated, but Bushiri made a televised speech in Malawi on Saturday, saying he was concerned for their safety.

On Wednesday, Bushiri said in a statement that he would appear before law enforcement in his home country “to explain and legally defend the decisions I made to come to Malawi.”

The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Interpol, as well as the authorities in South Africa and Malawi, to facilitate a smooth extradition process for the Busharis.

“As a member of Interpol, the Malawian police authorities now have an obligation to hand over the two fugitives to the international agency and the South African authorities,” said DA deputy Angel Khanyile.

He noted that their escape has highlighted the poor state of South Africa’s border management systems and how vulnerable it is to corruption.

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