Prophet Shepherd Bushiri will this morning at 09:00 return to the Pretoria Magistrate Court for his bail application hearing.
Lawyers for the Malawian born controversial prophet and the State will present heads of their arguments.
Prophet Bushiri was arrested on 20 October last month together with his wife for fraud and money laundering about K5 billion.
He has so far spent more than 10 days in custody.
While some Malawian religious leaders accused the South African government of persecuting Bushiri for being a rich foreigner, he was arrested together with two other South Africans and a Zambian national as several foreign billionaires continue to ply their trade in this rainbow nation without facing arrests.
The Magistrate presiding over the case has promised to treat everyone equally before the law in this bail hearing over fears Bushiri may be prioritised. But she said today will only be for hearing, hinting at the possibility of Bushiri spending another night before delivering her judgment.
In his arguments last Friday, Bushiri demanded to know victims of his alleged fraud. The state refused to reveal identities of the said victims saying there is a pattern in all cases that are filled against Bushiri.
The State argued that each time Bushiri is taken to court and victims are revealed, the prophet allegedly intimidates or pays the victims hefty sums of money in order to withdraw their cases against him as he continues to masquerade himself as an innocent person under persecution.
Eventually, witnesses including those who have accused Major 1 of rape end up withdrawing their cases against the controversial Prophet.
The state said it feared this being the case in the current case.
Bushiri, who has been nicknamed Chisale in his home country Malawi after former President Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale, has said he will plead not guilty as he claims to be innocent.
Meanwhile, the Department of Home Affairs is also accusing Prophet Bushiri and his wife Mary of immigration fraud.
According to a ruling by the High Court that we have seen, the department is just waiting for Bushiri’s plea in their current case before revoking the couple’s permanent resident permits in South Africa.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG) leader fondly called Major 1 is already facing a separate charge of fraud and money laundering about K0.8 billion having been arrested in February last year.
The thriller continues.