The Hawks have not spoken to me‚ says Prophet Bushiri
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri says he has only learned indirectly about an apparent investigation into his affairs by the Hawks‚ but he is willing to show police his financial records.
"Ordinarily‚ we refrain from issuing rebuttals‚ but it has become important to set the record straight‚ since in this case‚ silence may no longer be golden.
“While there hasn't been any official communication from the Hawks or other related government agencies to this effect‚ Prophet Bushiri largely welcomes this inquest‚ to put to rest the wild allegations that have been making the rounds‚ often promoted by some faceless group‚ who are bent on dragging the name of the church and the man of God in the mud‚” the church said in an official statement.
Last weekend the Sunday World reported that the Hawks are investigating the charismatic preacher‚ after members of the church leadership claimed he was sending an estimated R15-million a month to Malawi‚ his country of birth. The money is allegedly transported out of South Africa in Bushiri's private jet and other vehicles.
Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi was quoted as confirming they have launched a money laundering probe into the prophet‚ known as the "Major One"‚ but did not confirm the amounts.
Mulaudzi told the newspaper that the investigation is still in its “infancy stage” and no further information could be released about the matter.
The church rejected the report.
“The report‚ which is clearly a figment of the imagination of the authors‚ oscillated from alleged investigations by the Hawks to 'claims by members' of the ECG . . . Needless to say these allegations fall flat when put to the test . . . We are not ignorant of the clandestine moves by some groups and individuals but we take solace in the established fact‚ which says that‚ no matter how far falsehood travels‚ it would eventually be overtaken by truth. The truth will surely prevail‚” the church said.
“We are committed to working with any government agency who so wish to look at our books. . . ‚” the church said.
It added that from its inception‚ it has continued to attract over 2‚000 weekly foreign visitors to South Africa‚ via its weekly and monthly services.