South Africa Police Service through its Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) says it is discontinuing a probe into Prophet Shepherd Bushiri for lack of preliminary evidence and inconclusive reporting by so called whistleblowers.
DPCI popularly known as 'The Hawks' received a tip last week from people who claim to be Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) members, alleging Prophet Bushiri is externalizing huge amounts of money to Malawi every month.
However, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told Radio 702 on Tuesday evening that having analysed the entries of the tip, it has become clear that the leads provided by the whisteblowers are "mere fabrications" inconsistent with realities on the ground.
"Firstly, the whistleblowers provided us with incorrect information. When filling our online forms, they lied about their names by giving us fake identification and addresses. We have been verifying their details but nothing tangible has come up. That alone throws their credibility into serious doubt," recounted Mulaudzi.
According to DPCI regulations any online or telephonic reporting of a financial crime must have some compulsory details namely, Identification, Contact details, Position of Authority, Allegations, Details of person(s) involved in the alleged commission of the offence(s).
The whistleblowers in Prophet Bushiri allegations failed to provide Identification, Contact details and Position of authority, rendering their information not credible.
He also said his department is at pains to believe the information provided on the basis that it is utterly fictional.
"One sentence says Prophet Bushiri repatriates R15 million every month using his private jet. What we have established and we already know is that the jet is always parked at government-run airports and airfields as such the prophet has to check in all his belongings normally as any passenger before he flies out. How can one in such a scenario sneak into the plane such a huge amount?" he wondered.
Mulaudzi said The Hawks won't be able to proceed with the probe if this is the only information that seeks to move the process into motion.
Prophet Bushiri has been facing strong opposition and fabricated stories from fellow pastors who see his mercurial rise to stardom as a threat to their various ministries. Major 1 has grown the ECG into one of the largest Christian congregations in South Africa and Africa as a whole.