Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has revealed that the controversial self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary had five passports each that were issued by Malawi.
Briefing the home affairs portfolio committee on Tuesday, Motsoaledi said his department got involved in the Bushiri matter sometime last year when the Hawks were investigating fraud, corruption and money laundering.
He said in the course of their investigations, the Hawks came across IDs that had a lot of inconsistencies. Motsoaledi also said Mary entered South Africa through the OR Tambo International Airport and produced a permanent residence permit issued to her in 1997.
“Obviously, this is surprising,” he said, adding that their movement control system does not have a record of her entering the country in 1997. Motsoaledi also said Bushiri entered the country in 2009, and that other records show the couple entered in 2013 with Bushiri registering companies and operating businesses between 2014 and 2016.
According to Motsoaledi, Bushiri should have applied for a business visa but did not do so.
“It means the businesses he was running were not within the law.” Motsoaledi also said Bushiri and Mary applied for permanent residency permits in 2016. “They declared under oath that they entered for the first time in 2015. They were granted permanent residency in 2016,” he said.
However, Motsoaledi said the department reached a conclusion that the Bushiris’ stay in the country was not regular. He also said because of a lot of anomalies, they had to revoke their permanent residency status.