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Senior Home Affairs official sacked over Shepherd Bushiri residency



A senior Department of Home Affairs official has been dismissed after it emerged that he recommended the permanent stay of self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his family in South Africa.

The department on Monday announced that former Chief Director Ronney Marhule was found guilty of gross dishonesty, gross negligence and non-compliance with the Immigration Act when he recommended issuing the permits to Bushiri’s family, “which they did not deserve”.

The department said Marhule had also been charged regarding permanent residence permits issued to two other people, Mohamed Afzal Motiwala and Fatima Ebrahim.

Marhule’s dismissal comes after a year-long investigation.

ALSO READ: Bushiri ‘delighted’ with ruling on extradition case

Bushiri applied for a permit in 2016, which was approved without proper compliance.

Bushiri and his wife Mary faced fraud charges, involving more than R100 million, but skipped bail and fled South Africa to Malawi in 2020 before judgment was handed down.

Upon their arrival in Malawi, Bushiri said he fled because he feared he would not receive a fair trial in South Africa.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said his department is cracking down on irregularities.

“The outcome of this disciplinary hearing is taking us closer to ensuring that we bring to an end irregular practices and decisions by Home Affairs officials within the system. We are cracking down on all forms of irregularities wherever we find them.”

ALSO READ: Bushiri says Malema, Motsepe and Zuma may see something in him others can’t

A report in 2021 revealed how the controversial preacher effectively captured the Department of Home Affairs. It is alleged Bushiri had several of the department’s directors, adjudicators, clerks and even an MP acting in unison to circumvent the law and smooth the way for him.

According to News24, the Bushiri extradition case is expected to return to a lower court in Malawi, however, a date is not yet clear.

This comes after the State in Malawi sought to review a lower court’s ruling that South African witnesses should appear in the Malawi court instead of via video conferencing.



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