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Bushiri's assets seized by government

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Bushiri's assets seized by government

Prophet Bushiri who was arrested at his hotel now in big trouble, Government to seize his assets!

Not only are the preacher and his wife facing fraud and money-laundering charges, but their assets are also up for seizure!

As controversial “prophet” Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary fight for their freedom, the state is already eyeing their assets.

The couple, who were arrested at their Sparkling Waters Hotel in Rustenburg on Friday, are expected to appear before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria tomorrow where they are expected to be formally charged and apply for bail. But that will be just the beginning of their legal woes.

City Press learnt yesterday that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), a branch of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), has joined the legal fight against the controversial couple and has filed a preservation order seeking to seize their assets, pending the finalisation of the criminal case against them.

Two sources familiar with developments said the AFU had already filed an application at the High Court in Pretoria, seeking its permission to seize the Bushiris’ luxury houses and cars, as well as the self-styled prophet’s Gulfstream private jet, which is parked in a private hangar at Lanseria Airport outside Johannesburg.

Shepherd (35) – infamous for performing “miracles” at his church in Pretoria which some claim are staged – owns several properties in South Africa and others in his home country, Malawi, with his 37-year-old wife, Mary. They also boast of owning a fleet of luxury cars, including a Maserati, a Rolls-Royce, an Aston Martin and a R3 million Mercedes G63 which Shepherd bought Mary for her birthday in 2017. He also bought his daughter a Maserati in December 2017 as a gift for her sixth birthday.

But if the NPA gets its way, the Bushiris will no longer have access to their prized possessions.

“The preservation order may be granted next week,” said a source yesterday. Another source said the process had to move quickly because the authorities were concerned that Bushiri would start selling his assets to fund his and his wife’s defence, and hide their other assets from the state.

City Press obtained an affidavit from the investigating officer in the case, a colonel from the Hawks’ serious organised crime unit. It shows that the AFU investigators have identified the properties, cars and bank accounts which they have asked the High Court to preserve.

The affidavit – dated Thursday, and which was used to obtain the warrants for the couple’s arrest – states that they are alleged to have committed fraud and money laundering, and contravened the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, crimes allegedly committed since 2015.

They also allegedly contravened exchange control regulations by paying $1 147 200 (R15.3 million) in cash, in US currency, for his private jet, Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The affidavit states that on November 19 2015, self-styled prophetess Mary Bushiri bought the 1984 Gulfstream III model 1159 jet from aviation company National Airways Corporation (NAC) for the total price of $1 250 000.

The Bushiris regularly flit between South Africa and Malawi in their private jet.

“On November 20 2015, two payments were made and receipts issued,” the affidavit states.

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