One of the women who opened rape cases against fugitive prophet Shepherd Bushiri says she has lost hope that the preacher will ever answer for his alleged crime after fleeing to Malawi.
*Thandi opened a rape case against Bushiri this year on an incident that happened in 2017. She said police had been giving her regular updates about the case.
According to Thandi, police recently informed her that her rape case would only follow after Bushiri’s case on money laundering had been concluded.
She told Sowetan that the news that Bushiri had fled the country had left her devastated.
“I am disappointed. I’m angry because this guy is rude. I was very close to him. I know him. I can’t explain how I feel right now. We’re still asking ourselves how did he leave the country. I have lost hope that he will face consequences for what he did. I really don’t see it happening. I know Bushiri. I was close to him…He pays everyone,” Thandi.
The mother of another victim who opened a rape case against Bushiri said she had met prosecutors in Pretoria for an update about two weeks ago.
“They [prosecutors] told us that their bosses said the case is weak. We were informed that our case is weak because Bushiri bribed my daughter. Coming from there I was so disappointed,” she said.
The mother confirmed that her daughter, who was 16 at the time of the alleged rape, had received money to change her story with the police. She said Bushiri’s departure from the country had left her daughter angry.
“It is very hurting. My daughter is also frustrated about that,” she said.
Bushiri’s lawyer, Terrence Baloyi, said he was “not aware” of the alleged bribe.
Bushiri and his wife, Mary, escaped to Malawi last week, leaving the nation angry and demanding answers from the government. Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the couple had not used official ports of entry to flee.
He said if the couple did use official ports, they must have bribed their way through.
Bushiri and his co-accused, Mary, Landiwe Ntlokwana Zethu and Willie Mudolo, are facing charges of theft, money laundering and fraud in connection with an alleged R106m investment scheme.
The Bushiris were released on R200,000 bail each on November 4 after their arrest last month. One of their bail conditions was that they were barred from travelling outside SA and only permitted to travel in Gauteng and North West.
Yesterday, the Pretoria magistrate’s court issued a warrant of arrest for the couple after the government indicated that it would initiate extradition process for Bushiri and his wife to come and answer for their alleged crimes in SA.
Motsoaledi is expected to answer before the portfolio committee on home affairs, which is demanding answers on how the Bushiris fled the county.