Supporters of one of Africa’s most popular self-styled prophets, Malawian Shepherd Bushiri, have been celebrating outside a court in South Africa after he was released on bail, following his arrest last month on charges of fraud and money laundering.
His wife and co-accused, Mary Bushiri, was also freed by a magistrate in the capital, Pretoria, under strict bail conditions, which require the couple to hand over the title deed of a property they jointly own.
IN PICTURES: Shepherd #Bushiri’s supporters celebrate on the streets of Tshwane after the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court granted him R200 000 bail earlier on Wednesday.
📸: Jacques Naude/@AfriNewsAgency https://t.co/1WiemVpK7m pic.twitter.com/D5CmMR4PG7
— IOL News (@IOL) November 4, 2020
The prosecution had opposed bail for the couple, saying they were a “flight risk”.
But Magistrate Thandi Theledi dismissed the concern, saying they were permanent residents of South Africa.
She set bail at 200,000 South African rand ($12,500; £9,600) each, ordered the couple to report to a police station every Monday to Friday until the end of the case, and to surrender the title deed of a property.
The magistrate said the pastor could continue preaching, but warned him that he was not allowed to make threats against witnesses.
The Bushiris are facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering in connection with an investment scheme of about $6m. They deny any wrongdoing.
Who is Shepherd Bushiri?
- Malawi-born “prophet” who now runs churches from Ghana to South Africa
- Reportedly banned from Botswana over “miracle money”
- Claims to have cured people of HIV
- Appeared to walk on air in a video shared widely on social media
- Owns four private jets