South Africa-based self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd ‘Major 1’ Bushiri and his wife, Mary, face fraud charges in connection with an alleged K4.6 billion (R102 million) fraud and money laundering.
Hawks, the special crimes unit in South Africa, arrested the prophet and his spouse yesterday.
The couple was arrested alongside another couple.
Bushiri’s identity was not revealed by the Hawks in a statement made available to The Nation, but his church, the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) released a statement confirming the arrests.
When asked to confirm about the arrest, Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale inadvertently confirmed the arrest of the church leader and referred us to the statement the unit had
Reads the Hawks statement: “Four suspects, including a pastor aged between 25 and 39, have been arrested for alleged involvement in fraud and money laundering worth R102 million.
“The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation members arrested the first couple on Saturday, the woman in Sandton and her husband at OR Tambo International Airport. The two, Willah Mudolo and Zethu Mudolo, have since appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court and their case was postponed to 30 October 2020 for formal bail application.
“On Tuesday, the team made a further arrest of another couple allegedly involved in the same case. The woman  was arrested at her home and her husband , after trying to evade the team, handed himself over at Silverton Police Station with an entourage of attorneys. The second couple is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon.”
In a separate statement, ECG spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo confirmed yesterday that Hawks officers had requested Bushiri and his wife to report at their offices for questioning over a company known as Rising Estate.
Reads the ECG statement: “We are told as the prophet and lawyers were getting prepared for the 11am appointment, the Hawks went to their house before the 11am appointment and arrested the prophet’s wife only. We are told the prophet is on his way to the Hawks office to hand over himself.”
Bushiri and his wife were also arrested in February 2019 and face separate charges of fraud, money laundering and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act for offences they allegedly committed from 2015. The initial case relates to exchange control regulations allegedly about foreign currency amounting to R19 million