Controversial pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary have been granted bail.
Bushiri, 35, and his wife Mary, 37, were each granted R100 000 bail at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.
The pair, arrested on Friday over allegations of fraud, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, were remanded in prison on Monday.
His followers, mostly members of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church, rejoiced when the bail was granted.
In confirming their arrest on Friday, the Hawks stated, in a press statement, that: “The Hawks’ case against the pair, concerns alleged offences of fraud, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. (POCA), committed from 2015, in relation to Exchange Control Regulations related to foreign currency in an amount of 1 147 200 USD.”
Last year Sowetan’s sister paper, Sunday World, reported that the police’s elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, was investigating charismatic prophet Shepherd Bushiri for money laundering after members of the church leadership claimed he was sending an estimated R15-million a month to Malawi, his country of birth.
The money was allegedly transported out of South Africa in Bushiri’s private jet and other vehicles.