Top official involved in the Bushiri case contests dismissal

A senior employee from the home affairs department who was fired for his part in giving the fugitive prophet Shephard Bushri false permanent status has contested the decision in the bargaining council.

Four additional officials are currently being brought into disciplinary hearings. This was made clear when Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told the National Assembly’s home affairs committee about the Bushiris’ two-year-old escape when they were out on bail after being accused of R102 million in fraud. According to Motsoaledi, the agency learned that Bushiri’s permanent residency was gained fraudulently through authorities and in an unusual manner.

He stated that charges against the officers included gross dishonesty, gross negligence as well as non-compliance with the Immigration Act, regulations, and standard operating procedures. One of the officials who were the subject of the investigation has had a disciplinary hearing concluded.

“The senior official in charge at the chief director level was dismissed on May 23 with immediate effect. He was found guilty of gross dishonesty and gross negligence. The two charges are dismissible offenses.”

The former official, according to Motsoaledi, has filed an appeal with the General Public Service Sectoral Bargaining Council against the sentence, and the matter is currently undergoing arbitration. He added that he was shocked by the course of events because the official had attempted to halt the disciplinary action and had unsuccessfully appealed to the Labour Appeal Court.“The surprising part is that after being dismissed, public servants can start a new process at the bargaining council. I thought once you go to court and lose, that is where the matter ends.”

Motsoaledi has stated that the matter will now be addressed again because the fired chief director brought it before the bargaining council. The four additional officials, according to the ministry, were cautionary suspended from March 15–18, 2020 for their complicity in granting the Bushiris false permits.

Bushiri claims a South African security agent wants to kidnap him

Shepherd Bushiri, a self-described prophet who is wanted by South African courts, claims that authorities there are planning to kidnap him.

“We are extremely dismayed and astonishingly shocked by continuous intrusion into the private space of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and also attempts to kidnap him by some recognizable security personnel from South Africa,” Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said.

“Through various tip-offs from well-wishers and our intelligence sources, we have it on record that this personnel from South Africa have been trailing the prophet, to the extent of following him everywhere he goes under the guise of working under the ‘embassy’.”

Nyondo said Bushiri has lately been through “a series of suspicious incidences that borders on his security to the point of involving the Malawi Police Service”.“We wish to underline here that we are well aware of their plot: we know where they lodge, we know their communication links, we know their local collaborators and we know their movements. It is shocking to note that some of the personnel involved in this scheme are the very same people that Prophet Bushiri opened intimidation and extortion cases against in South Africa in 2018,” he said.

Nyondo said Bushiri “suffered immensely at the machinations of these people” while he lived in South Africa“ The South African justice system failed to apprehend these people even after numerous criminal cases opened against them and also reporting them to various state security bodies. This, if you recall, is the reason the prophet left South Africa to seek justice in his home country and he is highly respectful of the court processes he is going through,” he said.“We must underscore, here, that now that he is home and free, the Prophet will not be bullied and intimidated by these people in his home country the way they did in South Africa. Never.”

n addition to the alleged rape, Bushiri and his wife Mary is wanted in South Africa on suspicion of fraud and money laundering in connection with an R100 million investment scam. The ECG church leaders were detained in South Africa but fled to Malawi after being granted bail, stating they were not safe there. Following their arrest in October of that year, they were both freed on R200,000 bail by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on November 4, 2020.

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