Motsoaledi to appear in Parliament over Bushiri escape

The Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi will be making an appearance before Parliament on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, after being summoned by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs. Motsoaledi is expected to provide answers on how Shepherd Bushiri and his wife managed to flee South Africa, in violation of their bail conditions.

The committee’s chairperson Bongani Bongo wrote to the minister and his department’s acting director-general Jackie McKay, asking them to shed some light on the saga. They have also been summoned to explain how the couple unlawfully received permanent residency permits in the country.

“The committee noted the assertion by the Minister that the permanent residency of Mr and Mrs Bushiri was fraudulent, but is worried that nothing was done to investigate and charge both Mr and Mrs Bushiri and departmental officials who granted the permit. It is in this context that the committee saw it prudent to urgently invite the Minister and his department to account on departmental processes around this matter,”

Home Affairs Portfolio Committee Chairperson Bongani Bongo

The Bushiris are officially fugitives from justice after fleeing the country for their native Malawi on Wednesday, 11 November 2020. ‘Major One’, as he is known to his followers, announced on Saturday, 14 November, that he and his family were now in their home country.

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

DA: Bushiri escape exposed flaws in South Africa’s borders

The Democratic Alliance (DA) intends calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to engage his Malawian counterpart, President Lazarus Chakwera, on the Bushiris’ escape to ensure effective cooperation between the two nations in the extradition process.

“The Bushiris’ escape has laid bare the inefficiencies within our border management system which resulted in wanted fugitives passing through them with ease and without detection. This was not only an indictment on Home Affairs but also on our law enforcement agencies,” said DA MP Angel Khanyile.

“Home Affairs and all the relevant departments such as International Relations, State Security, Police and the Department of Defence need to urgently come together to address the challenges facing our border management processes”

While government has initiated a process to extradite the couple from Malawi, it remains unclear how long that will take.

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