No Great Weekend for Bushiri and wife.
Leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, Shepherd Bushiri, will spend a second weekend in custody at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre following the adjournment of their bail application hearing to Monday 2 November 2020.
The Magistrate presiding over the case said she could not, in any case, have made the ruling today. She is yet to go through all the affidavits and documents submitted for and against the bail application by Bushiri and his co-accused who include wife Mary Bushiri.
The case has now been rolled over to next week Monday at 09:00 in the morning.
Is this the “Great Year?” that Bushiri foresaw when he hovered around the year during the crossover? Probably yes. But it is definitely not a great weekend the Major 1 had anticipated.
Bushiri screamed out “No” when he heard the state if heads of arguments could be heard on Monday just moments before the Magistrate rolled the case over to next week.
However, the Magistrate warned the media against misleading the public, saying she is concerned with reports by the Press of a judgement being made each time there is a court session.
She insisted that the case is only at the hearing stage of the accused bail application. She hinted that that judgment on the matter will not be delivered on Monday.
The magistrate says she will examine all the affidavits and documents submitted by the lawyers representing all the accused and the State attorneys.
She says neither of those accused will be given preferential treatment.
In his counter argument this afternoon, Bushiri said allegations by the state were unsubstantiated. he denied saying he was a diplomat but confirmed that his diplomatic passport and that of his wife were issued by the Malawi Government.
Bushiri’s lawyer, Anneline Van Den Heever, told the court that the couple were given a Malawian diplomatic passport but not a diplomatic status by the Malawi government as alleged by the State.
The state had earlier on claimed that the ECG Couple Number 1 had used their diplomatic passports to evade customs at the airports when leaving and entering South Africa.
#Bushiri says he is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. He thus makes a case, through his lawyer, to be released rather than be held in captivity as a criminal
— Malawi24 (@Malawi24) October 30, 2020
The State further claimed that Bushiri’s wife, Mary, confirmed lying to Airport workers that she had diplomatic immunity that her luggage could not be searched.
Bushiri also asked for the identities of his alleged victims to be revealed saying without those names, the charge of fraud lacked details.
He also opposed the argument that he is selling his properties because he was preparing to evade bail, insisting that he has followed all bail conditions set in his separate case of fraud and money laundering.
He insisted that he is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt and asked to be released on bail rather than to continue being held in captivity as if he were a convicted criminal.