The South African Government has vowed to do whatever it takes to extradite Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary Bushiri to South Africa where they will stand trial.
This follows the couple’s release by the Lilongwe Magistrate Court on Thursday after they handed themselves over to the Police on Wednesday.
Now, South Africa’s Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, who declined to answer to Parliament on how the Bushiris escaped to Malawi, said the government will make sure that they are taken back to face trial in South Africa.
“They will definitely come back. The SA government will do everything in its power to ensure that they are returned to this country to face trial,” he told the South African media on Thursday.
He then defended South Africa’s justice system saying it had proven to be resilient and the couple was guaranteed a fair trial in the Rainbow nation.
“Our processes have been tested over time. The guarantee of a fair trial is not in dispute in the judicial system in our country which has proved to be resilient and has proven to be fair, free and without any influence from anyone.
“So there cannot be a claim of an unfair trial, that one is clear from our constitutional prescripts, our laws and also some of the treaties we have acceded to in the international community in terms of human rights and in terms of the African People’s Charter,” he said.
“As a country, we are compliant to that and we will continue to do so and there is no evidence that this country does not want to treat any accused person with fairness, with due respect.
“It has always happened in this country, it will continue and the Bushiris will not be an exception,” he explained.
The Bushiris, who are being accused of money laundering and fraud amounting to R102 million (about $6.6 million), had their property valued at R5.5 million seized by the South African government on Thursday after they failed to appear before the Pretoria Magistrate Court.
Soon after his release from the Police Cell, Bushiri said: “My life is important than the property they have seized from me.”