According to a statement released by the church this evening, police officers – later identified as Hawks’ members – “stormed” the Sparkling Waters Hotel in Rustenburg at around 7 am.
Bushiri spokesperson Maynard Manyowa says: “Police came in the morning to the hotel, picked them up, saying they wanted to talk to them. They wouldn’t tell us exactly why or how. They didn’t take them to a police station, but they took them to the headquarters of the Hawks.” A later statement released from confirmed the couple has been charged “They took the Prophet and our mother Prophetess Mary Bushiri in handcuffs to Pretoria. They have charged our father with fraud and money laundering.”
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, also said in a statement this evening that a “prophet” and his wife had been arrested, but declined to name the pair.
Early last year, reports emerged that Bushiri was sending about R15 million a month to his birth country Malawi. It was said the money was transported out of South Africa to Malawi in the pastor’s private jet and a few vehicles.
“As you will remember, from last year, we have struggled with reports that our father was guilty. We have repeatedly learned from different media houses that we were under investigation. At some point accurate reports pointed out the fact that certain people within the police had demanded bribes amounting up to R10 million,” said the church statement.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in his statement: “The Hawks’ case against the pair concerns alleged offenses 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.”
Mulaudzi said the couple, who run several business enterprises in South Africa and abroad, are expected to appear before the Pretoria [Specialised] Commercial Crime Court on Monday.