Judgement Wednesday: Bushiri to spend 2 more nights in custody

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri  and his wife, Mary will spend two more nights at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre as the Pretoria Magistrates Court adjourns to Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 for Judgement on the couple’s bail application.

Magistrate Thandi Theledi announced today that she will issue her judgement at 10:00am.

Bushiri’s followers said their Papa and Mama would be released today despite the Magistrate saying on Friday last week that only Heads of Arguments would be heard during today’s session.

The thriller continues on Wednesday like a midweek ECG service.

Today’s sessions, lawyers for Bushiri and the State highlighted their key arguments for or against the bail application.

In their closing argument, the state defended why it is opposing the bail application now but not in a separate when Bushiri was arrested in February 2019 to answer a different count of fraud and money laundering of about K0.8 billion.

The state says the amount (K5 billion) in the case at hand is higher and that the current case carries a higher sentence which would give the accuse more reasons to forfeit bail.

In her close argument, the State attorney highlighted that the increased penalty in the current case is a good motivation for the couple to not want to stand trial.

The State further fears that Bushiri and wife will easily escape if released on bail because they are multimillionaires who can easily forfeit the bail bond regardless of the amount.

The state further said the debt of over K80 million (R2m) that the couple has with his Sparkling Water Hotel as collateral is further motivation for them to escape.

The State fears that despite handing over their passports to the police, Bushiri and wife who have diplomatic passports can easily find a way to leave the country and claim to be diplomats at airports as has been the case before.

The court previously heard the Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary Bushiri, do as they please at Lanseria Airport by lying that they are diplomats and that their luggage could not be searched as a result.

It was revealed in the State’s affidavit that Mary Bushiri confirmed lying that she had claimed to be a diplomat with diplomatic immunity in order to evade customs at the airport.

Bushiri is also said to have flagged his diplomatic passport to prevent airport staff from searching his luggage.

She further highlighted that one of Bushiri’s alleged accomplices, the co-director of Rising Estate which Major 1 allegedly used as conduit for fraud and money laundering made attempts to evade his arrest. He tried to skip the country 3 times and was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport while trying to flee.

The State Attorney concluded her closing argument against Bushiri’s bail application by saying that the accused will have more reasons to evade trial now than it were for them in their 2019 case.

Meanwhile, Bushiri’s attorney said the case against his client was neither serious nor strong and demanded to know the victims of the alleged fraud. Last week, the state refused to reveal identities of the complainants citing the pattern in Bushiri’s case and fears of witness intimidation.

Bushiri maintains his innocence.

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