November 28, 2020

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Why have the Hawks issued a second arrest warrant for the Bushiris?

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The Hawks have confirmed that a second warrant of arrest has been issued for the Bushiris. The question is, how does it differ from the first issued just two days ago? According to the Hawks, it is for a different case. Here’s what you need to know. 

BUSHIRIS: HOW DOES THE SECOND ARREST WARRANT DIFFER FROM THE FIRST? 

The first warrant issued for the Bushiris on Monday 16 November had to do with the couple contravening bail conditions by leaving South Africa for Malawi. The couple received bail of R200 000 each in relation to a fraud and money laundering case worth R100 million along with three others.

The second arrest warrant, which was issued on Wednesday, is for a different case according to the Hawks. Though it may be different, Colonel Katlego Mogale said the self-proclaimed prophet also stands accused of fraud and money laundering.

Mogale said the case dates back to 2019 but could not provide specific details about the case. In 2019, The South African reported that Bushiri was in hot water for crimes allegedly committed in 2015.

“The crimes were committed from 2015 in relation to Exchange Control Regulations related to foreign currency in an amount of $1,147,200 (about R15.3m),” Brigadier Mulaudzi stated. The Hawks at the time also pushed for Bushiri’s R20 million private jet to be seized.

“It involves the case that we’ve been working on. We did say that it involves issues that we are looking at in terms of money laundering, fraud and corruption, so the jet is part of the belief that is the cause of all these problems,” the Hawks added.

Mogale, on Wednesday, went on to explain the reason for a second arrest warrant. She said that if an accused person absconds in one case, all their other cases are naturally implicated, so to speak.  

Mogale said the High Court issued the warrants on Tuesday 17 November 2020.

“The Bushiris face charges of fraud and money laundering. At the time of their disappearance, Mr and Ms Bushiri had posted bail of R100 000 each and were required to regularly present themselves to authorities as part of complying with their bail conditions. They were due to report in court in January 2021,” said Mogale.  

“During today’s court proceedings, the matter was postponed to 7 December 2020 for the formal withdrawal of bail and forfeiture of the bail deposit,” said Mogale.  

“South Africa has initiated legal proceedings to secure the extradition of the fugitives,” she added. 

COUPLE HANDS THEMSELVES OVER TO MALAWIAN AUTHORITIES 

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the Bushiris confirmed that they would be handing themselves over to Malawian authorities. 

In the statement, Bushiri explained why they fled to Malawi, breaking their bail conditions in South Africa. 

“I need to underline that I came to Malawi not to seek political intervention. I came to Malawi to seek justice before the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. I have a strong belief in the Constitution of Malawi because it protects its every citizen including my wife and I, and I cannot have a fair trial in South Africa,” he said. 

“Because of that, I will be presenting myself before law enforcement agencies this morning to legally explain and defend the decisions that I made to come to Malawi,” he added.