South African government clears Chakwera over Bushiri smuggling allegations

SOUTH Africa on Sunday confirmed that Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary did not leave the country aboard a flight on which Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and his delegation travelled.

“Chakwera undertook a successful working visit to South Africa on Friday, 13 November 2020, during which South Africa and Malawi discussed a broad range of initiatives to strengthen relations between the governments and peoples of the two countries.

“Following the visit, President Chakwera and his delegation departed from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria and stopped over at OR Tambo International Airport to collect an additional number of officials who had travelled to South Africa earlier to prepare for the working visit,” according to a statement issued by the Government Communication and Information System.

The statement said: “Department of Home Affairs immigration officials verified the identities of all passengers and Mr and Ms Bushiri were not on the flight.”

It said when travellers are processed for departure, they are required to present themselves to an immigration officer who, among other checks, verifies that the passport belongs to the traveller.

“To ensure that the two fugitives face justice, South Africa has initiated a process to secure their extradition from Malawi in terms of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Extradition and other legal instruments, to which Malawi is a signatory.

“While this process is underway, law-enforcement agencies will continue investigations into this matter,” the statement concluded.

The statement confirms what earlier State House said that the Bushiri’s did not travel with the Malawi leader.

Bushiri, freed on bail, is accused of money laundering and illegally obtaining a resident permit among other charges.

Credit MBC



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