Followers of one of Africa’s most popular prophets, Malawian Shepherd Bushiri, have been celebrating outside a court in South Africa after he was released on bail, consequent to his arrest last month on charges of fraud and money laundering.
His wife and co-accused, Mary Bushiri, was also set free by a magistrate in the capital, Pretoria, under strict bail conditions, which need the couple to hand over the title deed of a property they jointly own.
The prosecution had strongly opposed bail for the couple, saying they were a “flight risk”.
But Magistrate Thandi Theledi dismissed the concern, saying that they were permanent residents of South Africa.
She set bail at 200,000 South African rand ($12,500; £9,600) each, ordered the couple to report to a police station every Monday to Friday till the close of the case, and to surrender the title deed of a property.
The magistrate indicated that the pastor could continue preaching, but warned him that he was not allowed to make threats against witnesses.
The Bushiris are currently facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering in connection with an investment scheme of about $6m. They deny any wrongdoing.