Enlightened Christian Gathering Church leader Shepherd Bushiri’s co-accused, who is also accused No.: 1 in the theft, fraud and money laundering case to the tune of over R100 million has been denied bail in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
Willa Mudolo, who is the only accused in this matter to be remanded in custody, was described by the presiding magistrate as dishonest and a flight risk.
Willa Mudolo was arrested at the O.R. Tambo International Airport with a one-way ticket out of the country. This was the third time Mudolo had tried to skip the country and evade his fraud, theft and money laundering case.
Mudolo has four passports with different details. His visitor’s visa also expired, but he attributed this to the lockdown.
Remaining suspect in Bushiri case denied bail:
Pretoria Magistrate Thandi Theledi says Shepherd Bushiri’s co-accused in the theft, fraud and money laundering case conducted himself in an undesirable manner before and after he was arrested with claims of Mudolo attempting to bribe some of the court officials.
“On two separate occasions, the applicant went to O.R. Tambo International Airport to try and take a flight out of the Republic of South Africa. I was told that at some point he was destined for Dubai. The state presented evidence to prove to the court that after the applicant’s arrest was incarcerated he was on several occasions found in possession of cellphones and in which he was communicating with someone outside and also spoke about an attempt to bribe court officials.”
Mudolo had put up his R25 million home as surety that he would not evade trial. Through his lawyers, he had attempted to show the court that he paid back the monies that were deposited into his bank account.
Despite this, the court felt the accused failed to prove that it was in the interest of justice that he be released.
“The court finds that the applicant has failed to convince the court that the interest of justice permits his release on bail. Bail is, therefore, denied.”
Magistrate Theledi emphasised that the conduct of the Bushiri’s did not prejudice Willa Mudolo and that his bail application was treated separately and objectively.
The matter has been postponed until February next year.
Meanwhile, reports last week from Malawi indicated that the country’s Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo-Banda had signed the extradition papers for Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary.
Earlier this, month the South African government served Malawi with the extradition request after the Bushiri’s contravened their bail conditions and fled to Malawi.
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, wife Mary extradition process – Advocate Johan du Toit: