Govt investigates how the Bushiris escaped SA without travel documents

At the weekend, Bushiri said he and his wife, Mary, were in their home country of Malawi because their lives were under threat in South Africa.

FILE: Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - With mounting questions about how Shepherd Bushiri and his wife escaped South Africa, it has emerged that their travel documents were still with the South African Police Service (Saps).

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At the weekend, Bushiri said he and his wife, Mary, were in their home country of Malawi, saying their "lives were under threat" in South Africa.

They are facing criminal charges involving more than R100 million for theft, money laundering, and fraud.

Dubbed the most famous pastor in Africa, Bushiri claimed to have skipped the country with his wife last week.

They contravened their bail conditions and the South African government has issued a warrant for their arrest.

Local law enforcement authorities had also withdrawn their bail of R200,000 each.

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said they were investigating how the couple managed to escape the country without the required documents.

“If we are able to ascertain that he has left the country illegally, it means he has left the country illegally because his travelling documents are with the police. He did submit them together with the wife, and we will have to establish how he left the country without travelling documents,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, the Malawi government on Monday said it was waiting for a formal communication from South Africa after Bushiri skipped the country last week with his co-accused wife.

Speaking to Radio 702's Clement Manyathela, Malawi's Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, said the Bushiri matter was not complicated, as they were waiting for their South African counterparts to contact them.

“It is not up to us to get in touch with the South African government. At the moment we are just waiting for something formal. There hasn't been any formal approach that has been made to Malawi government,” Kazako said.

“Once we receive the necessary communication we will certainly take the necessary actions and positions.”

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