The Hawks, South Africa’s elite police force, is investigating Prophet Shepard Bushiri for alleged money laundering, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesperson for South Africa Police Service (Saps), said Monday.
Malaudzi confirmed to The Daily Times in a telephone interview that Bushiri became a person of interest after a tip from some members of his Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG).
“The investigation is still at an early stage and the enquiry is underway … we cannot divulge more pending this enquiry,” Mulaudzi said when asked Monday.
Bushiri’s Communications Director, Ephraim Nyondo, said that ECG has not been contacted by the Hawks and is, therefore, not aware of the investigation.
“Until we get the official word from them [Hawks], we remain in the dark on such investigations,” Nyondo said Monday.
Bushiri’s mercurial raise to fame and power has been phenomenal. He is the only prophet who has been able to fill the 94,000 capacity FNB Stadium in Johannesburg to date and has featured on BBC and other global television networks.
The Hawks are South Africa’s most feared crime-busting police force working under the Priority Crime Investigations Department.
The Hawks are accredited for the work they have done on the Gupta family, friends to former president Jacob Zuma.
The investigation on Bushiri may also potentially reveal how wealthy the man of God has become since he migrated to South Africa where he set up ECG.
He claims to have business interests in banking, mining, telecoms and the hospitality industry.
The controversial preacher made global headlines when he was captured floating on air and again when he released another video showing angels in his church.
On Monday, South African tabloids were awash with the story on Bushiri, saying the Hawks are looking into allegations of money laundering, pertaining to about R15 million which is said to be transfered from South Africa into Malawi every month.
Apparently, according to South African newspapers, when the money arrives in Malawi, it is cleaned illegally by buying property and investments.
However, The Daily Times could not independently verify the claims.
Meanwhile, the man of God continued his benevolence activities in Malawi announcing a K15 million financial support to Salima District Council, to help lessen the impact of disaster on most families in the district.
Nyondo said they would hand over the money to the council any day during the week.
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