The leader and founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, along with his wife Prophetess Mary Bushiri have in recent years become victims of different forms of abuse including racial and origin. Being black and rising in the global economy has made them targets of organized destruction by those with vested interested in creating an image for him that should be portrayed as scandalous, fraudster and someone with no regard for the rule of law.
Since his first arrest in February, 2019, he has not rested a bit as he has had to suffer from all angles with the state, media and fellow men of God pouncing on him mercilessly for what they are yet to prove his guilty. We compiled some of the things that have happened, in regards to his arrest and how he has been abused and subjected to an injustice course of guilty until proven innocent.
- In February, 2019 Hawks arrested Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife at their hotel in Rustenburg. With this arrest, everyone believed that the Hawks had a serious case against the couple and that they were ready to prosecute, having admitted themselves that they had investigated the prophets since 2016 and were ready with evidence.
- Having laid charges of money laundering and fraud against the Bushiri’s, Hawks failed to present evidence for trail against them and the judge granted them bail, with the case moved to a later date in May, 2019.
- Once again, in May 2019, the Hawks and State prosecutors said they were not ready to prosecute and asked for more time as they were working on what they described as “Overwhelming evidence” against the man of God and his wife. The case was moved to August 29, 2019.
- Came August, the state still unprepared to proceed with the case and asked for another adjournment and the case was postponed to November 29, 2019 for the defense and state to submit their presentation.
- November 29 came fast than expected and it’s on this day that the case was transferred from Special Crimes Court to High Court and he was informed that he would stand trial on July 27, 2020 (this year).
- On July 27, the state failed to bring witnesses against Bushiri and once again, the case was moved to October 16, 2020 where they said they would be ready to parade witnesses, but sadly, on October 16th, they were still not ready with the case and it has since been postponed to May, 2021 (next year).
- Recently, on October 20, 2020, the Hawks moved to arrest Prophetess Mary Bushiri but did not find Bushiri at home as he was at the office. The Hawks released a statement saying Bushiri had later handed himself to Police, having evaded arrest, when the man of God was simply at the office in Sandton where he spends most of his time.
- Throughout the case, Bushiri has suffered an image problem as he has been portrayed as a fraudster by the state who have failed for close to two years to prove that the man of God is guilty and this is minus the fact that they started investigating him 2016, making it over 4 years that they have been on his back, with no conclusive evidence to prosecute him. Each time, they have rushed to make arrests and quick and unfair statements against the man of God just to turn the public opinion against him.
- He has also been subjected to financial torture as he cannot travel outside South Africa to countries where most of his investments are. They described him as “flight risk” and confiscated his travel documents so that he remains in South Africa and it is reported that the man of God has greatly lost money from his businesses due to the prolonged case and with some of his investors being threatened and abandoning for fear of the state.
- Despite all these, people’s love for Bushiri and church has continued to grow at an alarming rate as evidenced in 2019 during the Cross-Over where he registered the largest number of people at the FNB Stadium despite arrests and cases leveled against him which most people believed be the end of the man of God. The man of God was also very instrumental in assisting governments all over to donate to people who were affected for various problems due to COvid-19 and other natural disasters.
Today, we have other prophets who have joined hands with those trying to see the end of Bushiri and they are busy day in and day out creating, fabricating and masterminding scums aimed at finishing the man of God who has stood firm on his innocence and he has been very cooperative to state’s investigations by among others, honoring bail conditions and making himself available when called by the police.
Since it’s a campaign of guilty until proven innocent for the man of God and his wife, the question is, if he is that guilty as it has been narrated by Hawks, the media and other men of God, why then has it taken over 4 years to prosecute him despite numerous and widely publicized arrests said to have “Overwhelming Evidence?”
By: Thabang Mghingi.