Popular Preacher flees South Africa ahead of fraud trial

Shepherd Bushiri

A well-known Christian preacher has skipped bail in South Africa and fled the country.

Shepherd Bushiri, who had previously said he wanted to clear his name, has now returned to his home country, Malawi, with his wife Mary.

Earlier this month they were released on bail after being charged with fraud and money laundering.

He said there had been attempts on his life and he accused the South African authorities of not offering protection.

Mr Bushiri described his decision to skip bail as “a tactical withdrawal meant to preserve lives” while speaking to supporters on social media on Saturday.

Observers fear the issue could cause a diplomatic spat between Malawi and South Africa – as questions are being asked about how Mr Bushiri and his wife managed to leave.