The South African government has written some civil society organisations (CSOs), asking them to provide a detailed statement on their complaint against alleged harassment of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri by its State agents.
Through its complaints unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), the South African government also wants the CSOs to provide details of how Bushiri was prejudiced, their witnesses and any evidence.
In May this year, a coalition of 12 local CSOs led by chairperson of Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and Black Economic Empowerment Movement (Mablem) Robert Mkwezalamba, asked the South African government through its Human Rights Commission to stop persecuting Bushiri.
The CSOs’ action followed media reports the Malawian-born Bushiri, currently based in South Africa, was being investigated by South African police on allegations of money laundering and other claims.
Bushiri was accused of visiting Malawi on a private jet monthly to drop illegal money but, according to the CSOs, as of May 2018, the prophet had been to the country three times in eight months.
Upon receiving the CSOs complaint, the South African Human Rights Commission referred the matter to The Hawks, who further referred it to the DPCI Judge for investigations as part of their mandate. The Hawks is South Africa’s elite police unit that targets organised crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crimes.
A letter reference number ODJ 218/07/2018 written on August 27 and signed by senior investigator in the Office of the DPCI Judge Lesetja Mothibe asked the CSOs to provide a detailed statement, details of how Bushiri was prejudiced, details of their witnesses and evidence for it to conduct investigations.
In an interview Monday, Mkwezalamba hailed the DPCI feedback, saying it had come at an important time when xenophobic attacks seemed to have resurfaced. n