Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri might be facing more than just fraud and money-laundering charges.
Police have confirmed they’re investigating the multi-millionaire leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church for the alleged rape of two women.
Their stories of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of the prophet are remarkably similar. Thandi (*not her real name) is a mother who went to church often.
She claims the prophet would stare at her during the services, sometimes even coming to stand next to her while he preached.
It didn’t take long for a church elder to tell her that Bushiri wanted to meet her at a hotel to pray.This is when things took a sinister turn. She claims he insisted on a hug, and then tried to kiss her.
“I’m like no you can’t do this to me. You are married. He said, I don’t care, I shouldn’t worry about that. I was like no I can’t. That’s when from there he touched me here (forehead) so that’s when I manifested, I don’t know I was under the power. That I don’t even know. So from there he took off the clothes then he raped me.”
She said the man told her to take R5,000 and leave. Thandi is not alone.
Another young woman, Lerato (*not her real name) also shared a story of being lured to a hotel.
After one of his sermons, she says Bushiri asked her and her cousin to join a special service the following day.
They were going to meet at church but then the pastor allegedly suggested they meet at a hotel.
When Lerato arrived, she says found the pastor naked. “He then asked me to take my clothes off! He told me to turn around and I did that shaking…afraid… I didn’t know what to do. That’s when he came up to me and everything happened. And then after that, he told me to take out 5K out of the drawer, to go book myself another room.”
Both women have opened cases with the police and while they wait for justice, they’ve stopped attending the church. Police have confirmed they’re investigating the allegations.
One investigation is still ongoing while another is already complete and a docket was sent to the NPA at the beginning of last year for a decision on prosecution. It’s not the first time Bushiri has faced rape allegations.
In 2018, a Sunday newspaper reported that the Hawks were investigating him after a Pretoria woman had come forward. She later recanted her story.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering church was given more than 48 hours to respond but the church hasn’t availed itself for comment.
The two women say they’re now pinning their hopes on the justice system to finally vindicate them so they can finally start the healing process.
– eTV News and Sports journalist Pule Letshwiti sat down with both women for an exclusive interview.