UPDATE: SA govt confirms arrest warrant issued for Bushiris

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said that the warrant of arrest which the state was applying for formed the basis of the documentation that it would submit to the Malawian government to extradite the Bushiris.

FILE: Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary. Picture: facebook.com/shepherdbushiriministries

JOHANNESBURG - Government has confirmed that a warrant of arrest has been issued with immediate effect for fugitives Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary.

This is part of the process to extradite the couple from Malawi so they can answer to the fraud, theft and money laundering charges they face here on home soil.

The leaders of the Enlightened Christian Church are out on R200,000 but failed to report to authorities on Friday as per their bail agreement.

READ: Motsoaledi left seething after Bushiris skip country

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said that the warrant of arrest which the state was applying for formed the basis of the documentation that it would submit to the Malawian government to extradite the Bushiris.

"We remain on track and that process is under way and once we have submitted the documentation, we will also share it with South Africans."

Government has reiterated that the extradition process could be lengthy but when the Bushiris return to South Africa they could face additional charges for absconding.

OPINION: Why the Bushiris might never come back to SA

"As far as we are concerned, he is accountable in South Africa and once we are able to establish that he has violated our immigration, that will also be another charge because he has violated but yes we are investigating that."

The Hawks are also investigating how the couple managed to violate immigration laws after handing in their travel documents as part of their bail conditions.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.