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Court finds no unreasonable delay in R102m Shepherd Bushiri fraud case

19 November 2021 - 08:48
Self-proclaimed prophet and fraud accused Shepherd Bushiri in court with his wife Mary before the couple skipped bail and fled to Malawi.
Self-proclaimed prophet and fraud accused Shepherd Bushiri in court with his wife Mary before the couple skipped bail and fled to Malawi.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The Pretoria magistrate’s court has found that there has not been an unreasonable delay in the R102m fraud case against self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, his wife Mary, and their co-accused.

Co-accused Willah Mudolo’s attorney brought an application for an inquiry in terms of section 342A of the Criminal Procedure Act into a delay in proceedings and finalising the investigation. 

Mudolo, his wife Zethu, and Lindiwe Ntlokoane appeared in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Wednesday on charges of fraud, theft, and money laundering relating to an alleged scam in which investors were defrauded of R102m.

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The investment scheme was allegedly done through a company owned by Mudolo and his wife.

Bushiri and his wife Mary fled to Malawi a week after being released on R200,000 bail each under strict bail conditions. Shortly after leaving, Bushiri said in a Facebook post they had left SA for their safety.

They face an extradition hearing.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said on Wednesday the state provided reasons to the court on why another postponement was necessary.

“The prosecutor reminded the court of Willah Mudolo’s refusal to apply for bail when the matter was first brought to court while his co-accused were applying for bail. He later brought his bail application after his co-accused were granted bail,” she said.

Mahanjana said the state also provided the court with an update on the extradition process of the Bushiris from Malawi.

“It was put on record that the Malawian Prosecuting Authority is awaiting a judgment of the review lodged against the magistrates’ judgment that South African witnesses cannot testify electronically [and] should rather testify in Malawi at Lilongwe magistrate's court.  At this stage, the date for the judgment is still unknown,” Mahanjana said. 

The court granted a postponement to August 2022 for further investigations into the matter.

Mudolo’s attorney asked the court to amend his bail application and this will be heard on November 30 in the Pretoria magistrate's court.

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