South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) has rejected published reports that his security detail had a three-hour standoff with that country’s police when they wanted to obtain a statement from him which ended with the officers fleeing.
A report in the City Press and News24 on Sunday indicated that the “dramatic scene” unfolded at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria where he sometimes rest as he has some shares in it.
According to the reports, South Africa Police had tried to obtain a statement from Bushiri, after one Martin Antonio opened a case against the clergyman at the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities during its investigation into churches.
But Bushiri’s communications director Ephraim Nyondo said the prophet has no dealing with Antonio, saying the reports were not balanced with ECG’s comments and are “fallacious.”
Nyondo said Prophet Bushiri is a law abiding person and he would cooperate with law enforcers at any times, saying the South Africa police was legally mandated to perform its duties without fear and favour.
City Press claimed in its report that it witnessed Bushiri’s bodyguards refusing to grant police access to him.
“We were outnumbered by Bushiri’s bodyguards,” a police officer told City Press, adding that the pastor had “powerful connections”.
Apparently, Antonio, was present at the scene and was saved from the bodyguards by the VIP unit of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who happened to be at the hotel at the time.
“I have opened cases against Bushiri, but nothing has been done. He threatened to kill me and instructed his bodyguards to beat the hell out me, but I managed to survive.”
The publication also quoted Vuyo Mhanga, spokesperson for Police Minister Fikile Mbalula , saying the “alleged cases will be looked into … We will not hesitate to take necessary action.”
But Nyondo said: “Propjhet Bushiri has no dealing with the so-called Antonio.”
He said Police wanted the prophet to be a testimony to a case where a church member was assaulted by the man called Antonio which the Man of God obliged-Nyasa Times