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Bushiri, his wife and three co-accused appear in court : by Xolisile Dlou

Picture sourced from the internet: Bushiri and his wife Mary appear in the Pretoria Magistrates court on Monday, 26 October

A formal bail application was held at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 26 October against Bushiri, his wife Mary and three co-accused. The three appeared before the court and they are charged with fraud and money laundering related to an investment scheme valued at R102m.

Due to the court running out of time, the magistrate Thandi Thelede ruled that the bail application will continue on 30 October, Friday. The accused will remain in custody until then.
The magistrate said that she could not commit to hearing the matter before Friday as she was fully occupied during the week with other cases. She added that the only day that she is sure that she will give the matter her full attention is Friday morning.

On Monday, the self-proclaimed pastor, Bushiri’s supporters gathered and closed off Francis Baard Street in Pretoria as they supported the Enlightened Christian Gathering leader (ECG). During the gathering the crowd sang, prayed on the street, and held placards bearing the Bushiris faces.

Picture sourced from the internet: Bushiri supporters otside the Magistrates court

Various reports reported that In his application for bail, which was presented through an affidavit, Bushiri’s advocate Anneline van den Heever argued that there was no flight risk at play, and that there was a lack of sufficient evidence presented to the court by the state.

Bushiri’s affidavit also stated that he intended to plead not guilty. He said his passports had been handed over to the investigating officer. He also mentioned that he had no previous convictions and had no intention of evading trial or fleeing the country. In the affidavit, he concluded by saying that he denies that any offence was ever committed by him and that he has no reason to run away. He added that he has no reason to evade his trial as he needs to vindicate himself.