Fugitive Bushiri’s lawyer wants justice

Johannesburg – Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s extradition to South Africa has pitted his lawyer against Minister of Police Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Kehla Sitole.

Ntsako Terrance Baloyi has applied for a court order to force Cele and Sitole to remove the “red flag” or “hit” placed on the passport he uses to fly out of the country to
consult with his client.

Bushiri and his wife Marry staged a dramatic escape from South Africa in 2020.

He is facing a surfeit of criminal charges at the Pretoria Special Commercial Court and is currently in his home country Malawi.

In the application that Baloyi filed at the Pretoria High Court on Monday, he said in the execution of his duties, mandate, and instructions from his clients, he occasionally leaves the country through the ports of exit but was unable to do so freely because his passport had been flagged, adding that he is also always searched in full view of the public when he wanted to travel.

Relating his ordeal, Baloyi said on March 1 last year, he was arrested by Colonel Phumla Mrwebi and three other cops from the Hawks and detained at the Pretoria Central police station.

He was later transferred to the Pretoria magistrate’s court where he was released without being indicted.

“It appears Col Phumla Mrwebi and the other members were infuriated by the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision not to proceed with prosecution and thereafter attempted to have my passport ‘red-flagged’ so that upon my occasional trips for client’s mandate outside the country, I would find it difficult and/or impossible to travel, and thus cause me and my business financial loss.

“I say this because prior to the arrest, I have been travelling without any hassle at the ports of entry,” read his papers before the court.

He said since the flagging of his passport last year, he had since been subjected to long searches at the airports, in full view of the public, which might have possibly resulted in him missing his flights.

Baloyi added that he was subjected to the same ordeal last month on his return to South Africa from consulting with his client. “I’m severely humiliated and embarrassed, traumatised, and suffer emotional devastation from direct infringement of my constitutionally enshrined rights,” read the papers.

Baloyi said if he did not get a court order to have the “hit on his passport” removed, his business will suffer financial loss and his harassment would not stop.

He also asked the court to force the police to pay him R500 000 for the damage he suffered.

Cele spokesperson Lirandzu Themba declined to comment on the matter.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.

Latest News