Why the Bushiris may have the last laugh after fleeing to Malawi

Immigration and extradition expert Gary Eisenberg said it's unlikely that the self-proclaimed prophet and his wife, who fled from South Africa to Malawi, would be extradited.

Pastor Shepherd Bushiri, his wife, Mary, and one of his co-accused appear in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 4 November 2020. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Immigration and extradition expert Gary Eisenberg said that fugitive Shepherd Bushiri is a very clever and well-informed man.

Bushiri and his wife Mary were out on bail after being arrested for their alleged involvement in fraud and money laundering worth over R100 million. The Pretoria Magistrates Court granted the Bushiris bail, convinced that they were not a flight risk.

On the weekend it emerged that they had in fact fled from South Africa to Malawi.

The South African government has now started a process to extradite them from Malawi.

“What applies here is the SADC Protocol on Extradition and if you look at it closely you’ll find article 4 which will prevent the Malawian government from extraditing Bushiri,” Eisenberg said while speaking to CapeTalk's Refilwe Moloto on Monday morning.

The immigration expert said this was because the self-proclaimed prophet may never receive a guarantee of an impartial trial in South Africa.

“When you listen to his demands, Bushiri is invoking article 4 of the SADC Protocol and it’s totally in his rights to do so. So, he may have the last laugh,” Eisenberg added.

What will make it impossible for Bushiri to have a fair trial in South Africa?

Listen to the audio below for more.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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