‘A national embarrassment’: MPs outraged over Bushiri escape

Members of Parliament (MP) are not satisfied with Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi’s failure to explain how Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary, managed to circumvent the country’s borders and flee to Malawi.

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Motsoaledi appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, to shed light on the saga.

“What happened in the weekend with the Bushiris fleeing in the manner that they did and announcing it from Malawi, when nobody knew that they had fled and none of the authorities knew that they have fled…in my view it can only be described as a national embarrassment,” said the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) MP Liezel van der Merwe.

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The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Joe McGluwa reckons the couple may have concealed their identity when skipping the country.

“Who said they did not leave this country disguising themselves…because what we are seeing here as members of Parliament is a well-planned escape from this crook,” he said.

The Bushiris announced on Saturday, 14 November, that they had escaped to their native country on Wednesday. The couple claim they live in fear for their lives and are concerned they will not receive a fair trial in South Africa.

According to eNCA, they are believed to have snuck out of the country through the Beitbridge border post.

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They, along with three co-accused face charges of fraud and money laundering to the tune of R102 million. Some of their bail conditions included that they hand in their passports and report to their nearest police station on Mondays and Fridays between 6am and 6pm.

They were each released on R200 000 bail by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court after being in police custody for more than two weeks.

Motsoaledi: Home Affairs not to blame for Bushiri escape

The minister said his department should not be blamed for the couple skipping bail.

“The matter of Bushiri, chairperson, is not solely a matter of Home Affairs, as many people have been saying,” he said.

“The whole security cluster is also involved in it, which means the Home Affairs department, the Department of Justice, South African Police Services together with their branch, the Hawks, the minister of state security, the minister of defense and the minister of Dirco, all those clusters and ministers are involved in this matter of Bushiri.”