Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the fugitive Bushiri couple did not slip out of the country using any of their 10 passports.
They also didn’t get any help from Malawi’s president, Motsoaledi’s told MPs on Wednesday morning following the embarrassing escape last week of pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
“I must emphasise that Mr Bushiri has five passports. None of them are South African. They were all issued in Malawi. We’ve got their passport numbers. Mrs Bushiri has got five passports.”
They are meant to appear in a Pretoria court on Thursday to face charges of fraud, theft and money-laundering.
The pair’s bail has now been revoked and they also face losing their home in South Africa.
African National Congress (ANC) MP on the Home Affairs portfolio committee, Asnathi Molekwa, said that all government departments concerned must be investigated.
“I think it’s very suspicious due to the fact that Mr Bushiri cannot just leave the country without any trace. This poses a very serious security risk in the country.”
The fugitive Shepherd Bushiri and his spouse Mary Bushiri each have 5 passports, all Malawian.
Their permanent residency was issued irregularly.
Home Affairs suggested at their bail listening to that they have been a flight danger.
Self-proclaimed prophet and fugitive Shepherd Bushiri and his spouse Mary each have 5 passports – all of them Malawian, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi advised the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday.
Furthermore, when the Hawks was investigating the Bushiris final yr, they got here throughout “identity documents that were problematic”, Motsoaledi mentioned.
Mary Bushiri entered South Africa by OR Tambo International Airport and mentioned she had a permanent residence permit issued in 1997.
“Now, obviously, this is surprising,” Motsoaledi mentioned, as they did not have any document of her coming into the nation in 1997.
They have been first recorded formally coming into the nation in 2013. In the next three years, Bushiri registered corporations. He ought to have utilized for a enterprise visa, however by no means did, so his companies have been illegal.
In 2016, the Bushiris utilized for a permanent residence permit and declared beneath oath that they entered the nation for the primary time in 2015. This permit was granted in 2016.
According to Motsoaledi, this was issued irregularly.
“The stay of Mr and Mrs Bushiri in South Africa is not regular,” Motsoaledi mentioned.
He added that there have been “lots and lots [of] anomalies”.
For his bail listening to, Home Affairs’ recommendation was that he needs to be thought to be a flight danger and shouldn’t be granted bail, Motsoaledi mentioned.
“It is common cause we’re suffering from porous borders,” Motsoaledi mentioned.
“We believe people who are a flight risk can go through any of our porous borders.”
Motsoaledi mentioned the airplane on which the Malawian president left, was searched by the police and all of the passports, bar the president’s and the primary woman’s, have been checked.
The Bushiris’ departure occurred in the identical week that President Lazarus Chakwera visited South Africa for talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering church chief, his spouse Mary and three others are accused of fraud involving round R102 million.
The couple was out on R200 000 bail each when it emerged they had not appeared for their Friday examine-in with police – a requirement by way of their bail circumstances.
On Saturday, Bushiri mentioned in an interview that they had fled as a result of they believed their lives have been in peril in South Africa and they’d not get a good trial.