The Hawks say they have no knowledge of fugitive pastor Shepherd Bushiri having been in South Africa in the past few months.
These remarks are in response to a City Press report which claimed Bushiri managed to again flee from authorities in the country.
The publication said Bushiri was in South Africa in April and managed to flee before being arrested.
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In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Philani Nkwalase said the Hawks will not be drawn into commenting on speculation and challenged those with evidence to substantiate the claims.
Nkwalase said according to their knowledge, Bushiri was in his home country, Malawi, and that a process was underway to have him extradited to South Africa. Nkwalase said:
_A process of bringing him back is dealt with by the competent authority in line with extradition arrangements. At the right time, we will bring the country into confidence once there are notable developments on that process._
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Bushiri and his wife Mary who are facing fraud and money laundering charges involving R1 million skipped the South African border last year after being granted an R200 000 bail each.
They immediately issued a statement saying they had escaped as their security was in jeopardy in South Africa.
In a post on Facebook on Sunday, Bushiri labelled the City Press report as fake news. He said:
_It is very unfortunate that you have decided to call me guilty even before I have been given the legal opportunity to prove my innocence. This is why you keep pushing your media propaganda forward. But your presumptions will always prove to be what they are — presumptions and baseless._
Meanwhile, Busiri’s R5.5 million Pretoria property (Centurion) was forfeited to the state.