Africa & World

Bushiri escape: SA engages Zimbabwe and Interpol to smoke out the pastor

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  • Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary absconded from South Africa earlier this week, allegedly sending President Ramaphosa in to a fit of rage.

SOUTH Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly ‘extremely angry’ with events that have transpired over the last few days, in regards to the whereabouts of Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary.

The passport-less pair escaped from South Africa, despite being out on bail in a pending fraud case.

The Bushiris are back in Malawi, their home country. It’s fair to say the rumour mill has been in overdrive this weekend, as this escape coincided with a state visit from Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera.

It has been suggested that the head of state, who has close ties to Shepherd Bushiri, dramatically smuggled the self-proclaimed prophet out of Mzansi.

This has been categorically denied by officials in Malawi, who slammed the allegations for being ‘unfounded’.

However, this whole event has left a sour taste in the mouths of South African officials. They are now demanding that the Bushiris are returned to our shores through the terms of an extradition treaty agreed by both nations, and have engaged Zimbabwean authorities for assistance.

Interpol also joined the search for the Shepherd and Mary Bushiri, and have vowed to ‘immediately apprehend’ the suspects as soon as they’ve been detected.

President Ramaphosa is allegedly seething about the whole affair, and a source from DIRCO told the Sunday Times: “The president is extremely angry and has instructed the security cluster to get answers on what happened.

“Fortunately, Malawi has ratified the protocol on extraditions. It’ll be easier to get them back to SA to face the music.

“There are talks underway with Malawi to get the Bushiris back. Home Affairs, state security, and the police have questions to answer.

“An Interpol Red Alert has been activated. In terms of this all member countries of Interpol will monitor his movements and, once detected, he will immediately be apprehended and handed over to the authorities [in SA].

“We are engaging our counterparts in Zimbabwe to check if he has not used it for his escape.”

Media in South Africa report that a diplomatic storm is brewing between SA and Malawi after Bushiri absconded this week – at about the same time that Malawi’s President Chakwera jetted into SA for a brief meeting with President Ramaphosa. ■

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