Malawi police arrest 'prophet' who fled from S.Africa

·1-min read
Arrested: Shepherd Bushiri, seen here on stage with his wife, Mary Bushiri, at a stadium in Soweto on New Year's Day
Arrested: Shepherd Bushiri, seen here on stage with his wife, Mary Bushiri, at a stadium in Soweto on New Year's Day

A millionaire preacher wanted in South Africa on fraud and money-laundering charges was arrested in his native Malawi on Wednesday, police said.

Shepherd Bushiri, a self-proclaimed prophet known for "miracles" and an opulent lifestyle, skipped to Malawi last week in breach of strict bail conditions imposed by a South African court.

Malawian police launched a manhunt for the fugitive on Tuesday after Interpol issued an arrest warrant in Pretoria.

"The prophet and his wife handed themselves over to the police ... (in Lilongwe on) Wednesday, November 18, 2020 when they got wind of their impending arrest," police spokesman James Kadadzera said in a statement.

He said the couple will be taken to court.

Bushiri's spokesman, Ephraim Nyondo, denied the couple's arrest was sparked by the warrant.

He said Bushiri had vowed to present himself to the Malawi police to demonstrate "commitment that he is not a fugitive."

"He is in Malawi to seek justice, which he believes he cannot be accorded in South Africa," Nyondo said.

Bushiri, who made his wealth through donations from followers of his Enlightened Christian Gathering church in Pretoria, claims that he fears for his life in South Africa.

The mogul has huge investments in the mining, telecommunications and luxury sectors.

The South African authorities, which are grappling to establish how he left the country, have initiated legal proceedings to secure his extradition.

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