The Enlightened Christian Gathering leader, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, appeared in the Pretoria magistrates’ court again on Friday, 06 November 2020 alongside his other five co-accused when one of them, Willah Modolo, a Zambian national made a formal bail application for the first time. The State is opposing the application on the grounds that Modolo is a flight risk as he is illegal in the country and was also arrested at OR Tambo International Airport where he was attempting to board an outbound flight in order to escape arrest.
The State has called an official from the Department of Home Affairs, Brendan Adams, who confirm Mr Modolo, although married to a South African resident, is illegal in the country. His two attempts to apply for permanent residence in South Africa were rejected by the Department of Home Affairs. Modolo has denied that he was trying to flee the country when he was arrested and stated that he was on a business trip to Nigeria, and was not aware that he was wanted by the police.
The bail application was postponed to 19 November 2020 for further bail hearing. Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, who is accused no. 4, and his wife Mary, accused no. 5, were previously released on R200 000.00 bail. Accused 2, Zethu Modolo, who is also accused 1’s wife, was released on a R20 000.00 bail. Accused 6 was released on R100 000.00 bail. All the accused were given very stringent bail conditions upon their release to ensure their continued attendance in court. The trial itself is unlikely to commence until sometimes into 2021 when the State will be calling witnesses to give evidence against the accused.