South African authorities were poised to add rape charges to those faced by Bushiri in mid-November when he skipped bail and the border to return to Malawi.
He knew about the charges, but has maintained they were fabricated by the Hawks to harass him, and went as far as lodging, through his lawyers, a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). But on 15 November, a day after his escape, Ipid reported that the matter was at a dead end.
Bushiri’s claim was that “the police officers investigating several allegations of rape against Mr Bushiri were trying to extort money from Bushiri so that they make his rape charges disappear”.
Bushiri failed to make himself available to investigators and to provide crucial information requested, Ipid said.
Earlier this week, Bushiri cried foul because the Hawks had briefly detained his instructing attorney in South Africa, Terrence Baloyi, and his legal adviser, Alvin Khosa.
The Hawks confirmed they have been investigating Bushiri’s legal representatives for crimes including corruption, intimidation and defeating the ends of justice since 2018 in relation to the alleged withdrawal of statements from women who had accused him of rape.
Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said arrest warrants for the men were executed on 1 March and they were taken to court, but the matter was not enrolled.
Mogale confirmed that Bushiri would be charged with rape if he is extradited to South Africa.
“It is the same charges,” she said, without confirming the exact number. “Nothing has changed.”