Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary’s extradition process is likely to be concluded in March.
This after the Malawian government having applied to extradite the self-proclaimed prophet and his wife to South Africa.
“That application was a summons that we filed with the court, then the request itself with the court. The reason why we filed the request itself is because it forms, in essence, the evidence which we will be basing the whole extradition on,” Pilirani Masanjala, Malawian Justice Ministry spokesperson told e.tv News.
The couple will appear in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on 8 March and the decision on the extradition is expected to be made on the same day.
Malawi received the formal extradition request from the South African government on 4 December.
The Bushiris are wanted in connection with a fraud and money laundering case to the alleged tune of R102 million.
The duo, however, fled the country to their homeland just a few days after they were granted bail of R200,000 each – under strict conditions – in the Pretoria Central Magistrate’s Court.
The couple skipped the country in November stating safety and security concerns.
“There have been clear and evident attempts to have myself, my wife and my family killed and despite our several attempts to report to authorities, there has never been State protection,” he said at the time.
“Our coming to Malawi, hence, is a tactical withdrawal from the Republic of South Africa solely meant to preserve our lives.
“These attempts have been heightened with recent spates of arrests and detentions that we felt the only way for us to clear our names before the law is to ensure that our lives are preserved. My wife and I strongly believe in our innocence but this cannot be proved if our lives are not preserved. We have to be alive to testify to our innocence,” he said at the time.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde