The Hawks have confirmed that they have three new warrants of arrest for Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri for rape.

This matter comes amidst Bushiri’s escape to Malawi as he fled South Africa with his wife Mary after posting bail. They face fraud, theft and money laundering charges to the tune of R102 million, and were granted bail of R200,000 each.

According to Katlego Mogale, Hawks spokesperson, the arrest warrants were authorised by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court last week on 19 November.

Mogale confirmed that the warrants of arrest relate to the alleged rape cases dating back to 2018 and 2020.

The police had confirmed in an interview that they were investigating the rape allegations against Bushiri.

However, Bushiri denied the claims, saying “This has been done together with members of the media. This woman comes and demands money from us. The supposed victims come and demand money from us. The shameless journalists also demand money from us.”

He said for the past three years, a Hawks officer had been running an “extortion syndicate” against him and “sending girls to demand money from us and if we don’t give, she told the girls to go public and accuse us of raping them”.

Bushiri claimed he had reported the matter to several law enforcement agencies, but that “no action” was taken.

The ECG church leader further said that the women demanded money from him to stop them from telling their stories to eNCA.

He said “Well, we told them we are not giving a single coin to them to stop from running this story. [They] must go ahead. We are going to sue you and your extortion cohorts.”