'Prophet' Bushiri to stand trial next year on fraud and money laundering charges
The fraud and money laundering case against self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, has been transferred to the Pretoria high court for trial.
Bushiri and Mary briefly appeared in the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court on Friday. Their case was postponed to 27 July 2020 for trial.
The charismatic couple, who head the multi-thousand member church, are facing charges of money laundering, fraud and contravention of the Prevention of the Organised Crime Act.
Thousands of supporters gathered outside the court to support their “spiritual father”. Most were clad in T-shirts bearing their leader's face.
Ephraim Nyondo, spokesperson for the church, said the support showed how much Bushiri was loved.
“People from Angola, Malawi, Israel and the US came here today. It shows the power and the love the people have for their leader. They always support him because he is their voice.”
Melody Dzingai said she went to support Bushiri as a member and daughter of the church.
“I came to support him because I believe what is happening is not fair. If what they have [against Bushiri] was valid, why do they keep postponing the case?
“Whatever the case may be, we are still here. We rally behind him because we've seen how beneficial his life and that of his wife is to us,” said Dzingai.
Faith Manthalu said she was at court to support Bushiri because of the impact he had on many people's lives, including hers.
“There is no way I can just sit at home and not support him because I know what he has done for people's lives in the Kingdom of God,” Manthalu said.