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South Africa’s “corrupt” Hawks officers torment Bushiri’s lawyers: Phumla Mrwebi the master minder

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—True to Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader Shepherd Bushiri’s claims that he is being persecuted by certain Hawks officers, the South Africa’s security agency is reportedly to have unlawfully detained lawyers representing the prophet in fraud and money laundering case in the country.

Bushiri, who jumped bail together with his wife in the Rainbow country on grounds of insecurity and injustice in South Africa courts, has disclosed the matter today through a statement issued by his spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo.

In the statement, Bushiri said his attorney, Terrance Baloyi, and legal advisor Alvin Khosa were detained for eight hours by the Hawks on Monday after a warrant of arrest was issued.

According to Bushiri, the detention also included a private investigator he hired to probe extortion and blackmail acts against him.

“It’s shocking to note that after my instructing lawyers and the private investigator who, after being unlawfully kept in custody like convicted criminals.  The senior state advocate who issued the alleged warrant of arrest was nowhere to be seen and court officials left with no option but to release my lawyers from custody under the banner of claiming that the police investigation is incomplete, yet we know they have been investigating since 2017, worse they proceeded to arrest,” Bushiri said.

The prophet says he is not surprised by the incident “because it’s just an escalation and intensification of a failed scheme, by certain Hawks officers hell burnt to cover up the dirt I reported against them”.

“As a matter of fact, I have on several occasions shared with the public the agony, pain and persecution I have persistently suffered after I stood up to a series of extortion pushes from certain Hawks personnel led by officers Phumla Mrwebi, Colonel Corrie Maritz, Du Plessis and their colleagues.”

“Unfortunately, all my attempts to dissuade Mrwebi and three others from these illegal and evil tactics fell on their dry and extortive hearts. They scaled up their attempts which they spiced with heavy sticks of intimidation.

“As a law-abiding citizen, I took legal step, aimed at seeking justice, among others reported Mrwebi, Maritz and others to the Head of Hawks, and police watch dog, DPCI Judge – ref 0/DPCI/J 218/07/2018 to whom I (through Human Rights Conservative Committee – HRCC ) passionately appealed to have them disciplined as they were dirtening the good image of South Africa’s justice system,” he said.

According to Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the officers, who were investigating several allegations of rape against Bushiri, allegedly tried to extort money from him to make his rape charges disappear.

Bushiri and his wife skipped the country in November last year after they were granted bail of R200,000 each – under strict conditions – by the Pretoria Central Magistrate’s Court, stating safety and security concerns and claiming they would not get a fair trial in South Africa.

They are facing charges of fraud and money laundering case of about R102 million.

“I left South Africa because I was certain that with Mrwebi, Maritz and their team still handling my case, as the situation stands, I won’t have justice before South Africa’s justice system.

“Mrwebi and Maritz know pretty well that I have verified and documented evidence – in print, audio and video -against their every push to intimidate us and cover up the issues that I opened cases against them.

“That is why, to escalate and intensify their intimidation against us, Mrwebi and her team have unlawfully and wrongfully arrested my instructing attorneys counsel Baloyi and counsel Khoza. Further, to cover up on the intimidation and corruption case I opened against them, Mrwebi and her team have also unlawfully detained the officer from Independent Private Investigation who was leading investigations against them,” said Bushiri.

Bushiri is further worried that, following the unlawful arrest and detention of his lawyers, he will struggle to get legal representatives as many of them will be afraid of facing the same kind of harassment from the Hawks officers such as Mrewbi.

Maneno Chimulala
Maneno Chimulala
I am a journalist, educator, and activist with passion for telling stories about social justice, sports and political issues. I graduated from Mzuzu University. I started my career at the Maravi Post online publication in 2012 as an intern while in college. Upon graduating from Mzuzu University I was offered a job as Sports Reporter because of my background as a goalkeeper and rose to the position of sub editor. I also had a short stint with Nyasatimes, Malawi Punch and Malawi Digest. Over the past seven years, I have worked intimately with rural organizations and communities in Malawi on human rights, girl child education and grassroots development projects. With an academic background in education, I also volunteer as male champion for girls’ education under Girls Empowerment Networks (GENET) in Malawi’s South West Education Division (SWED).
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