Govt can’t give timeframe on how long Bushiri extradition process might take

The Bushiris fled the country last week, claiming they feared for their lives.

FILE: Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Government can't give any guarantees or timeframes as it begins the process to have fugitives Sheperd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, extradited from Malawi after they skipped the country in defiance of their bail conditions.

The Bushiris fled the country last week, claiming that they feared for their lives.

They're facing fraud, theft and money laundering charges.

It's still not clear how the couple managed to escape from authorities and cross over to another country.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that without any register of the Bushiris leaving the country, the only explanation is that they crossed the border illegally.

“If he did cross the border illegally, I cannot hide that we are not battling to put up a structure to manage the borders.”

Victor Shale is from the Electoral Institute for Sustainability of Democracy in Africa. He said this was a major embarrassment for the South African government.

"It poses a lot of questions about our criminal justice system, we really are waiting to see how government is going to handle this. I don’t think this was much of a struggle for him. We’ve seen this during the Grace Mugabe scandal and it’s repeating itself again."

Meanwhile, Bushiri told his supporters that he would be handing himself to the law enforcement agencies in Malawi on Monday.

He claims he was not running away from being prosecuted: “I have also instructed my lawyers that on Monday, they should make an urgent application in the courts of South Africa that bail must not be revoked as I’ve come here only to seek intervention from the government of Malawi to consider these issues as it will lead to a fair trial.”

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