In the extradition case involving Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary, the State has appealed to the High Court to review the lower court’s decision of bringing South African witnesses to testify physically in Malawi courts.
According to spokesperson of Prophet Bushiri, Ephraim Nyondo, lawyer Wapona Kita representing the Prophet and his wife has been served with the order from the High Court calling for the file from the magistrate court for review of the order on the physical attendance of witnesses in Malawi.
“I have not yet been served with any grounds for the review so I can’t comment much. We will just have to wait as we are now on the receiving end,” Kita said.
On 29th March 2021, Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa ordered that South Africa should bring to Malawi witnesses against Bushiri to testify and also to be cross-examined by the accused through their lawyers.
However, though the State, through Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni, complied with the order and told the court they were ready, a twist came in when the State applied before the court to have witnesses testify through video conferencing citing Covid-19 fears, an application the courts dismissed.
The State’s application comes barely two weeks before the July 12th date the Magistrate set to resume the trial with South African witnesses in Malawi court.
The High Court has since confirmed that the date of the review shall be fixed within July 2021.
Prophet Bushiri appeared more than three times before South Africa courts to be tried but he was never given trial because the State kept seeking adjournment on grounds that witnesses were not ready.