By Bester Kayaye
The leader of the Enlighten Christian Gathering (ECG) Church Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has appealed to the government of Malawi to intervene on what he dubs as “unfair trial” he is currently encountering in South Africa.
Bushiri has made the appeal on Saturday evening during a special public address following his flee from South Africa where he is undergoing trial on two different cases of fraud and money laundering of about K6-billion.
In his address Major 1 explained that he has freed into the country as a tactical withdrawal solely meant to preserve their lives following several assassination attempts on his life.
Bushiri said; “we arrived in Malawi on Wednesday night, and this does not mean that am running away from the trial against charges levelled against me, but I came home to voice out my grievances on how my case is being handled in South Africa.”
“In South Africa I was much grounded to speak on any agendum concerning my case as according to the conditions of the bail I was granted, am not supposed to say anything on the ongoing trial, and am also not entitled to engage with any state witness of which up to now remains anonymous, as I don’t even know who the state witnesses in my trial are.”
He also explained that the attempts on his life and persecutions started around 2017 to 2018 when he was approached by law enforcers who according to him were targeting at squandering money from him.
“Having realised of their crooked ways I opened a case against them, and I even consulted the office of the Inspector General of intelligence of South Africa but no tangible outcome was realised from my lobbying.” he said.
“From that moment my life has been at threat which forced me to send back my kids to Malawi in the year 2018 and they have been here ever since, and at one point I lobbied with Malawi’s Human rights groups which wrote a letter to South African Human rights defenders tabling the problems that I was facing, but little has been achieved so far.”
Bushiri therefore requested Malawian government to lobby with the South African government to ensure his safety as well as fair and just trials in line with his constitution right as a human being.
He also said Malawi government should look to it that there is an assurance of his safety and security whilst in South Africa and an assurance of his bail not to be revoked claiming their right to fair trial nods to access to their lawyers all the time and revocation of the bail defeats the right to fair trial.
Bushiri further said; “I want the officers involved in investigating, arresting and prosecuting us to recuse themselves. As earlier said, this is the same team that I earlier lodged complaint against and also opened a case against.
“What is shocking is that it was me who, in 2018, opened cases of extortion and intimidation against the officers who are today investigating arresting and prosecuting me and my wife of these several allegations.” He reiterates.
He added; “I want the South African State to see to it that all the issues I lodged and opened against these officers must be pursued to their logical conclusion before proceeding with our case and the State should appoint independent and professional investigators and prosecutors who should make independent decisions on the cases we are allegedly accused of
Meanwhile, Prophet Bushiri cited that he is in a quest of meeting President and other relevant government officials on Monday 16 November to formally present his issue for government’s intervention.
Prosecutors during his bail application feared that Bushiri had more reasons to jump bail in this K5 billion (R102 million) fraud and money laundering because of the overwhelming evidence they had against him and his wife.
Major 1 was bailed on 4 November 2020 after spending 14 nights in custody at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre. Bushiri and his wife Mary were each ordered to pay total of about K10 million as bond, which the state said the prophet was willing to forfeit by escaping.