/ 10 March 2023

NPA on Shepherd Bushiri: We are satisfied with our work

Shepherd Bushiri
Pastor Shepherd Bushiri. Photo: Supplied


On 24 February, the Mail & Guardian published a story headlined How NPA shielded Bushiri. The NPA was given more than 24 hours to respond to questions. They requested time to investigate the matter and here is their response. 

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) rejects in the strongest terms the suggestion or allegation that the organisation “shielded Shepherd Bushiri”, as worded in your headline. 

To the contrary, the NPA has ensured that all cases against Bushiri are handled appropriately, according to the highest prosecutorial standards, including vociferously opposing bail and highlighting that Bushiri and his co-accused were flight risks (an eventuality that unfortunately materialised, despite the NPA’s best efforts). 

The state is continuing to engage with the Malawian authorities in order to facilitate the execution of the request for the extradition of the Bushiris.

In relation to the specific case you reported on — involving the two prosecutors, advocate Adina van Deventer and advocate Alicia Roos — the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the division [in Pretoria] is satisfied that the prosecutorial decision taken in the case was correct and in line with the prosecutor-guided investigation principles, where a prosecutor is best placed to make an assessment on whether or when a matter is ripe for enrolment.

As already indicated, the NPA was taken aback by reports in your article that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) judge had submitted the report to the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions [Shamila Batohi]. The NPA confirms that no such report was received in the office of the NDPP, or even in the office of the DPP of the jurisdiction, which would have triggered the process of investigating the findings of the DPCI judge. 

As such, neither the prosecutors against whom the negative findings were made, nor the NPA leadership, were given an opportunity to respond to the allegations before a finding could be made and for immediate and appropriate action to be instituted.