Bushiri’s lawyer sues SAPS for R15m, gives them 30 days to pay
Terrance Baloyi says he will approach the courts to file a formal legal complaint if SAPS does not pay within the timeframe given.
Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri in the dock of the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court where he was granted bail. Picture: Jacques Nelles
A lawyer for Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader Shepherd Bushiri is suing SAPS for R15 million following his arrest earlier this month.
Bushiri’s lawyer, Terrance Baloyi, told to The Citizen on Thursday morning that his law firm, Ntsako Baloyi Attorneys, had sent a letter of intent to sue to the SAPS.
Baloyi further confirmed SAPS has been given 30 days to pay the R15 million or a formal legal complaint will be filed in court.
“Yes, I have signaled my intent to sue. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the matter at this point,” Baloyi said.
The action comes after a statement last week Tuesday by Bushiri in which he claimed his legal team – Baloyi and legal advisor Alvin Khosa – were “unlawfully” detained for eight hours by the Hawks.
However, the Hawks said Baloyi and Khosa were arrested on charges of corruption, defeating the ends of justice and intimidation in connection with the withdrawal statements by victims who had accused Bushiri of rape.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale confirmed warrants of arrest for the lawyers had been executed after investigations into the allegations were completed.
Baloyi and Khosa were taken to court but their case could not be enrolled, which resulted in the lawyers being released, Mogale said.
Following the lawyers’ arrest, Bushiri said he was not surprised by the arrests, further suggesting he was being persecuted by Hawks officers.
“As a matter of fact, I have on several occasions shared with the public the agony, pain and persecution I have persistently suffered after I stood up to a series of extortion pushes from certain Hawks personnel led by officers Phumla Mrwebi, Colonel Corrie Maritz, Du Plessis and their colleagues,” he said.
In 2018, Bushiri laid extortion and corruption charges after the officers, who were investigating several allegations of rape against the self-proclaimed prophet, allegedly tried to extort about R10 million from him to make the charges disappear.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) last year said Bushiri was required to provide information about the allegations and to acquire witness statements.
However, his unavailability had been “giving IPID investigators a challenge to proceed with the case“.