Black First Land First (BLF) has now joined ANC MP Boy Mamabolo in defending Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader and fugitive Shepherd Bushiri.
“It is clear to all fair-minded people that the South African government has waged a vendetta against prophet Bushiri. The government of South Africa is not interested in the rule of law. It’s interested in tarnishing the name of the prophet,” said BLF’s deputy president Zanele Lwana.
According to Lwana, the latest “media-driven negative propaganda” against Bushiri was a desperate attempt to remove focus from the “clear and legal” demands made by Bushiri regarding the charges against him.
“It’s clear that the South African government has no case against the prophet, hence the manufacturing of charges and feeding the media frenzy in an attempt to conduct a trial by media.
“It’s clear that prophet Bushiri shall never receive a fair trial in South Africa under the Ramaphosa administration. Stellenbosch is threatened by the prophet hence the persecution we see.”
Lwana has called on the South African government to stop “the persecution” of Bushiri and meet his demands to ensure his right to a fair trial and safety.
“It is clear that South Africa is under white control and black people who are not controlled by white power and are able to stand on their own are destroyed.”
Bushiri and his wife, Mary, fled to Malawi earlier this month after being granted bail. They face charges of fraud, theft and money laundering, with three more warrants of arrest issued for the self-proclaimed prophet following rape allegations against him.
Upon his arrival in Malawi, Bushiri made the following demands to the South African government in order for him to return:
1. First, I want the South African government to assure us of our safety and security whilst in South Africa.
2. Secondly, I want the South African government to assure us that our bail will not be revoked. Our right to fair trial entails that we have access to our lawyers all the time. Revocation of the bail defeats our right to fair trial and also exposes us to further security and safety challenges.
3. Thirdly, I want the officers involved in investigating, arresting and prosecuting us to recuse themselves. As earlier said, this is the same team that I earlier lodged complaint against and, also, opened cases against. I won’t have a fair trial with their continued involvement.
4. Fourthly, I want the South African State to see to it that all the issues I lodged and opened against these officers must be pursued to their logical conclusion before proceeding with our case.
5. Finally, I want the South African State to appoint independent and professional investigators and prosecutors who should make independent decisions on the cases we are allegedly accused of.