Lilongwe – The High Court in Lilongwe has directed that the case in which South Africa wants Malawi to extradite self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, be handled as a criminal matter.
Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa made the ruling Monday after Bushiri’s defence team tried to have the case treated as a civil matter. The magistrate also directed the prosecution to furnish the defence team with extradition application documents.
Director of Public Prosecutions Dr Steven Kayuni successfully argued that it was a criminal case as the Bushiris stand accused of fleecing the South African state of millions of dollars. The pair fled to their native Malawi after being granted bail by South African courts.
The Bushiris claim their lives are in danger if they return to South Africa.
As the extradition case continues, the courts will soon make a determination on whether or not it is necessary for the South African government to send witnesses to Malawi as part of the proceedings.
The case is expected to resume on March 29, 2021.