Home Affairs officials alleged to have served notices to embattled Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader, Prophet Bushiri and his wife Mary have been suspended, eNCA reported on Sunday.
Bushiri and his wife are Malawian nationals.
In addition to the charges racked against the pastor and his wife, which include fraud, money laundering and theft, they are also accused of contravening certain provisions of the Immigration Act.
The Bushiris were served three notices by a senior home affairs official, in February and March last year. The third notice was declared “irrational, unlawful and invalid”.
According to a legal document, Bushiri’s application for permanent residence status was captured and granted by the officials, “in terms of an incorrect section of the Act which occurred as a result of certain commissions or commissions on the applicant and his wife’s part.”
When the Bushiri’s were served their third notice, it let the couple know that their residency status needed to be withdrawn. They were given 30 days to make arguments to the department why their permanent residency status should be allowed.
Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi told eNCA that the officials were suspended for unrelated matters, but that their role within the Bushiri saga is now being probed.
The church leader and his wife will apply for bail on Monday. Their bail application is set for 30 October.
Their money laundering and fraud charges are allegedly worth R102 million.
In Bushiri’s affidavit, he said he intended to plead not guilty, and should be granted bail, as he said he had no reason to flee the country.
(Compiled by Nica Richards)