Bushiri ‘declared tithes as own riches’ in bid for residency

The Department of Home Affairs has make clear how self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri illegally used tithes from his church and an plane to acquire paperwork for everlasting residency in South Africa.

In last submissions filed in a disciplinary case towards the senior official who granted approval for Bushiri’s everlasting residency, the division goes to size to point out that Bushiri and his household didn’t qualify for everlasting residency after they used financial institution accounts of their church and an plane bought for $1,25-million as proof of an funding they have been going make.

The division contended that Bushiri didn’t have a web price of R12-million and as a substitute used the checking account of the church for his software in 2016.

“Accepting for the second that one might think about an plane as an funding, it should be bought for business/freight enterprise use. However, buying it for private use, as Bushiri did, doesn’t represent an funding.

“It is like a person purchasing an expensive Rolls Royce in South Africa and calling it an investment because of what it costs and the fact that it needs a chauffeur. This is utter nonsense. This, without even considering the fact that a cash purchase of an aircraft for $1,25-million should immediately raise eyebrows about possible money laundering or contravention of exchange control regulations,” the division mentioned.

“Secondly, the chartered accountant relied on the bank statements of the church. Church funds cannot be relied upon as a source of investment, and it is not clear why they were even attached. A cursory glance at the bank statements in any event reveal that large amounts of cash were deposited and then withdrawn each month,” the division added.

The Bushiri’s everlasting residency was additionally unlawfully authorised together with purposes for refugee standing.

In phrases of the Immigration Act, an applicant should make investments or intend to take a position R2,5-million within the nation to be granted everlasting residency, amongst different qualifying standards.

The act additionally states that the minimal web price of an applicant must be R12-million, of which R120 000 must be paid to the director-general of residence affairs upon approval of the applying.

The submission relies on the report of an inner investigation that the division performed into the saga.

The division desires Ronney Marhule, the suspended chief director of permits, to be discovered responsible of misconduct associated to gross dishonesty, gross negligence and non-compliance with the Immigration Act. The consequence of the case will likely be out in a number of weeks.

In January, the Labour Court dismissed Marhule’s software opposing the truth that the division used a lawyer to preside over his disciplinary listening to.

The division alleges Marhule authorized Bushiri’s software whereas the applying file and all related paperwork have been nonetheless on the Lilongwe mission in Malawi and have been solely couriered to the division’s head workplace in Pretoria throughout December 2019.

“There was documentary proof accessible within the recordsdata of the division establishing that Bushiri was in South Africa on a customer’s visa however had, opposite to the Immigration Act, been conducting a enterprise, which must have resulted within the rejection of the applying, or alternatively, its referral for additional investigation.

“There was documentary evidence available in the files of the department, establishing that Bushiri’s spouse, Mary Bushiri, had submitted a fraudulent exemption certificate issue in terms of the repealed Aliens Control Act prior to the application and recommendation for the approval of Bushiri’s permanent residence permit, which ought to have resulted in rejection of the application, alternatively, its referral for further investigation,” the division mentioned.

In October 2020, the Bushiris  have been arrested and charged with fraud and cash laundering by the Hawks.

The standing of Bushiri’s citizenship was introduced into query throughout the arrest.

The division, via its counter corruption unit, initiated an investigation into allegations of irregular approval of everlasting residence allow of Bushiri and his household.

That November, Bushiri and his spouse fled to Malawi.

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George Matlala

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