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Bushiris granted bail

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By Peter Kanjere:

Shepherd Bushiri, South Africa-based Malawian leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering church, was granted bail alongside his wife Mary Wednesday, with strings attached—after paying a bail bond of K5.4 million (R100,000) each.

Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court granted the Bushiris bail after South Africa police arrested them on Friday over alleged fraud and money laundering charges relating to K810 million (R15.3 million).

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In a mobile phone interview Wednesday, Bushiri’s publicist, Ephraim Nyondo, said he was happy that Bushiri was granted bail.

“We applied for bail on Monday. We wanted it as quickly as possible. We are looking forward to him being released for good so that he should continue with his ministry,” Nyondo said.

After arresting Bushiri and his wife at a hotel in Rustenburg, South Africa police released a statement over the nature of the alleged offence.

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“The Hawks’ case against the pair concerns alleged offences of fraud‚ money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA). The crimes were committed from 2015 in relation to exchange control regulations related to foreign currency in an amount of $1‚147‚200 [about R15.3m,” police spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi is quoted as saying after their arrest.

Hawks have since dismissed talk that Bushiri’s arrest is tantamount to witch-hunting.

“People will always talk. Let them talk because we are here to work and that is our duty,” Mulaudzi told Sowetan newspaper on Monday.

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