BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Principal Resident Magistrate, Viva Nyimba, has adjourned to March 8 an extradition case involving self-proclaimed prophet and controversial millionaire Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.
The adjournment follows a request by defense lawyer Wapona Kita that they be given 30 days to go through the extradition documents served by the state.
Kita had prayed with the court that the case returns in court mid-February.
In reaction Director of Public Prosecution Steve Kayuni agreed with the defense arguing Extradition documents are “voluminous” in nature as they exceed over one thousand pages.
In his rulling senior Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba agreed with both parties and has since adjourned the matter to March 8 for both parties to finish preparing their arguments.
The court has said South Africa has included an additional separate charge of three counts of rape for Shepherd Bushiri
Government of the Republic of South Africa formally sent a request to Lilongwe seeking the extradition of the Bushiris and Malawi government agreed to South Africa’s request to extradite Bushiri and his wife, Mary, to face trial in South African courts.
The fugitive pair skipped bail in South Africa last month and returned to Malawi, claiming they fled because their lives were in danger and they would not have a fair trial.
The couple, which denies the charges, was released on bail in early November and had their passports taken away by South African authorities. But on November 14, it emerged that Bushiri and his wife had broken their strict bail conditions and fled to Malawi.
It remains unknown how the Bushiris managed to flee undetected but the news rattled South Africa and prompted questions about the effectiveness of the country’s justice and border control systems.
The escape coincided with an official two-day visit by Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera to South Africa.
Both countries have denied that the preacher escaped through the plane which carried the Malawian officials.