Police minister Bheki Cele is at the receiving end of criticism on social media as users blame him in part for the escape of controversial prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary.
The Bushiris skipped SA last week, just one week after they and their co-accused were granted bail by the Pretoria magistrate’s court. They were arrested in October for allegations of theft, money laundering and fraud relating to an investment scheme of R100m.
Many have questioned what the police minister is doing to ensure the couple is held accountable for violating their bail conditions, which barred them from travelling outside SA. Some have expressed doubt the minister would solve the case at all, unless it involves alcohol.
“If Bushiri had some alcohol in his luggage, Bheki Cele would have caught him before reaching Malawi,” on user tweeted on Sunday.
Another wrote: “So vele our minister of police Bheki Cele is only after alcohol because I don’t see anything about Bushiri?”
On Saturday, Bushiri cited safety concerns for him and his wife as the main reason for their escape. He said these concerns dated back to 2015, but were worsened by their arrest early last month.
“Our coming to Malawi is a tactical withdrawal from the Republic of South Africa, solely meant to preserve our lives,” Bushiri said.
He blamed the state for its alleged failure to provide protection for him and his family despite reporting numerous alleged attempts on their lives.
Bushiri’s disappearance came to light after he failed to report to his nearest police station with his wife, as per their bail conditions.
Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said authorities were investigating the matter.
Social media was filled with reactions roasting Cele:
if Bushiri had cigarettes on him, Bheki Cele would’ve stopped him.
— Hamish Hoosen (@Hamish_Hoosen) November 15, 2020
If anything, this Bushiri debacle is confirming how people can leave the country unofficially, the same route used to transport victims of human trafficking, Bheki Cele said it’s not happening.
— Tomi Rikhotso (@TomiRikhotso) November 14, 2020
— 🐏P a b l o 巴勃罗🇿🇦 (@Punisher_ZAR) November 14, 2020