Probe into #ShepherdBushiri’s SA residency
Pretoria – Home Affairs said on Tuesday it was investigating the South African residency of Malawian self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri.
The controversial super-rich leader of the Enlightened Christian Gatherings church and his wife Mary were last week released on R100 000 bail each after being arrested for fraud and money laundering.
They had spent five days in custody. They are scheduled to return to court on May 10.
Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza, said the investigation was to ascertain compliance with the Immigration Act. He said the purpose was also to support the work of law enforcement agencies.
The investigation was expected to conclude by the end of this week. “The department is part of the justice and security cluster. We get involved when a law enforcement agency asks for confirmation of the status of a foreign national; we can initiate the investigation too.”
The State is also expected to approach the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, for an order to preserve Bushiri’s assets, including residences, vehicles and a private jet.
According to the department, Bushiri first entered South Africa in September 2009, but acquired permanent residency which would have allowed him to run his church only in May 2016.
But his church is recorded to have already been active in South Africa in 2012. Police are also investigating a case of defeating the ends of justice as an incident, where three women killed during a stampede was not reported to law enforcement immediately on December 28. Nine other congregants were injured as they ran for shelter during a heavy storm.