- Prepared to continue without him
- Hawks to seize Bushiri’s assets
Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG) Botswana branch say they are ready to go on even if their spiritual leader Shepherd Bushiri is found guilty and sentenced to jail.
It was reported last week Friday that the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) elite Hawks unit arrested Bushiri and his wife on allegations of fraud and contravening Exchange Control Regulations in relation to US$1,147,200 worth of foreign currency. The couple was expected to appear yesterday (Monday) in court, but their case was postponed to Wednesday (tomorrow), meaning that the he will spend more nights behind bars.
“All our local branches are standing in prayer with our spiritual father Major Shepherd Bushiri and his wife. We are praying for his release just like all other branches across the world,” said ECG Botswana Secretary General Pelotshweu Baeng.
“We will not comment much on this matter because it is still before the court. The best we can do is just pray. We have no details on issues, but what we know is that he is being arrested for personal transactions and has nothing to do with the church. He will remain innocent until proven guilty by the courts.”
Baeng went on to reveal that Bushiri has long warned and prepared them that he will face persecution and jail time for preaching the Gospel of Jesus of Christ.
“He long told us that there will come a point where he will be arrested and taken to jail, so we are not really surprised by the turn out of events in the past few days. We have been prepared since then. Even if he is found guilty and is taken to jail, the church will not stop, it will even grow beyond its current numbers,” he added.
Though reports in SA also reveal that the church is also being investigated by the relevant authorities, Baeng says that does not affect or involve the Botswana branch in anyway.
“ECG Botswana is very independent from ECG South Africa. The two churches are governed by different laws and not everything that happens in South Africa affects or involves us in anyway. We do not even pay any affiliation fee to ECG South Africa,” explained Baeng.
South Africa’s City Press Newspaper reveal that Hawks are looking at seizing some of Bushiri’s assets including luxury cars, and private jet. The newspaper reported that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), a branch of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), has joined the legal fight against the controversial couple and has filed a preservation order seeking to seize their assets, pending the finalisation of the criminal case against them.
It further says that the AFU had already filed an application at the High Court in Pretoria, seeking permission to seize the Bushiris’ luxury houses and cars, as well as the self-styled prophet’s Gulfstream private jet, which is parked in a private hangar at Lanseria Airport outside Johannesburg.
The Director of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Director General Peter Magosi told The Botswana Gazette that they are not pursuing any investigation against the church here in Botswana.
“We are not investigating the church, nothing has been reported to us, but we will if we suspect something,” said Magosi.
Asked if they are assisting their SA counterparts with Bushiri investigations he said, “I cannot reveal what we are working on with our South African counterparts, unless maybe if it was a national security issue.”