A senior Home Affairs official in South Africa has been dismissed for approving permanent residency permits for Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri in 2016.
Ronney Marhule who was working as chief director for permitting at the ministry has been dismissed with immediate effect, according to the Department of Home Affairs.
Marhule’s dismissal follows a disciplinary hearing in which he was found guilty of gross dishonesty, gross negligence and non-compliance with the Immigration Act when he recommended issuing the permits to the Bushiris and two other individuals.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said his department is cracking down on irregularities.
He said: “The outcome of this disciplinary hearing is taking us closer to ensuring that we bring to an end irregular practices and decisions by Home Affairs officials within the system. We are cracking down on all forms of irregularities wherever we find them at Home Affairs.”
South African media reported that Bushiri applied for permanent residency status on the basis of his net wealth and intention to invest at least R2.5-million (about K175 million) in South Africa.
The Malawian Prophet who leads the Enlightened Christian Gathering indicated that he was committed to investing in South Africa and he submitted his church’s bank statements and his ownership of a private jet as proof of his commitment.
Before the residency permit, Bushiri was conducting business in South Africa while on a visitor’s visa.
Bushiri and his wife were arrested in South Africa in 2020 on allegations of fraud and money laundering. The family fled South Africa in November 2020 while on bail.
The South African Government wants them back in the Rainbow nation. The couple’s extradition case in Malawi is yet to be concluded.
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