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Cabinet is satisfied with govt’s handling of Bushiri matter - Lamola

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola gave a post-Cabinet briefing in Pretoria on Thursday afternoon.

FILE: Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola addresses the media in Pretoria during a virtual Cabinet briefing on 6 August 2020. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Cabinet on Thursday said it was satisfied with the way the Justice, Crime Prevention and Safety Cluster managed the issue of the escape of Shepard Bushiri and his wife, even though President Cyril Ramaphosa insisted on Wednesday that the saga should not have happened.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola gave a post-Cabinet briefing in Pretoria on Thursday afternoon.

“Cabinet was satisfied with the manner in which the Justice, Crime Prevention and Safety Cluster has handled the matter and the cluster will update the public on the developments regarding this matter,” Lamola said.

The minister said they intended to send extradition papers to Malawi within the next two weeks.

Warrants of arrests have been issued for the pair and government has made contact with their Malawian counterparts in a bid to have them brought back to South Africa to stand trial.

“We will continue to finalise the extradition papers we intend to send to Malawi within the next two weeks, not within 30 days as prescribed in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol, it’s a date we’ve set ourselves,” Lamola said.

If the Bushiris’ version of events were to be believed, it had been more than a week since they fled South Africa undetected. However, it was still not clear how that happened.

The popular self-proclaimed prophet and his wife are in Malawi in contravention of their strict bail conditions.

They face charges of money laundering, fraud, and corruption in South Africa.

READ: Bushiri insists he has done nothing wrong, pleads with SA not to revoke permit

Speaking on the sidelines of the investment conference on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said he was expecting a report on the couple’s escape soon.

“The Bushiri matter has been very concerning to all of us and I’m waiting for a detailed report on the whole Bushiri saga, which I will get and we will then see what action needs to be taken because it should never have happened the way it did. Either tomorrow or so I’ll be getting a report,” the president said.

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