JOHANNESBURG – Controversial church leader Shepherd Bushiri has been arrested.
A statement from the church says he and his wife Mary were arrested by the Hawks on fraud and money laundering charges.
“As you will remember, from last year, we have struggled with reports that our father was guilty. He has been detained and is being questioned by the Hawks in Silverton, Pretoria.”
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 as police station, but they took them to the headquarters of the Hawks.”
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.
Earlier on Friday, the CRL Rights Commission found that the controversial church leader was not responsible for the stampede at his Pretoria church where three people died, saying that the church fully complied with safety regulations.
After a two-day hearing this week into the tragedy, the commission said after due consideration, it found that the church was granted a compliance certificate prior to the service in December last year.
Seventeen other people were injured as they scrambled for cover during a thunderstorm at Bushiri’s popular Enlightened Christian Gathering Church.