CONTROVERSIAL Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Limpopo businessman Martin Antonio are again on each other’s throat, with the matter heard in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.
Bushiri approached the high court on an urgent basis to interdict a march planned against “false prophets” which was scheduled for yesterday, Wednesday 14 March 2018.
Bushiri believed that the march was aimed at him as some of the pamphlets to the build up to the event contain “slander and defamatory statements”.
His attorneys stated: “As part of this, they have alleged that our client is satanic, a rapist, abuses women, has slept with over 10 congregants, manipulates women under the guise of mentoring them, and has attempted to murder Mr Antonio.”
The matter dates back to a year ago after Bushiri, in his “prophecy” of Antonio’s wife after she visited the church for the first time, suggested she was being bewitched by Antonio’s family. The “prophecy” led to the breakdown of Antonio’s family.
This did not go down well with Antonio who started a campaign #BushiriMustFall. Bushiri on the other hand, in one of his church services, threatened to kill Antonio through prayer. There have been hostilities ever since, with both daring each other through videos that goes viral on social media.
But in an affidavit posted before the court on Tuesday, Bushiri who was represented by Adv Barry Roux SC and stated: “I was born in a city called Mzuzu in Malawi. In 2009, I founded ECG under a tree in Mzuzu City. Since then ECG has grown into a multi-national institution. I am also a young entrepreneur. I own several successful enterprises in, inter alia, the communications industry, the media industry, the mining industry, the financial investment industry and the hospital industry.
“My reputation attracts people from various fields of life. I often receive prominent politicians who seek my spiritual guidance.”
He further stated: “Our law is evidence-based. Given that this application is brought on the papers it is, as a matter of logic, impossible to prove that God has gifted me with the power to prophecy. I am, however, offended by the assertion that I am a false prophet. I do not seek to address this assertion in this in this application. Doing so would require evidence to be led and invite an irresoluble dispute of fact on the papers.”
But before the matter was heard in court, Antonio, who was cited as a respondent together with Solomon Ashoms and Charles Farai, posted another video on social media, taking “jabs” at Bushiri about the court application. Ashoms and Farai did not oppose the application.
After the hearing the matter, Judge Elisabeth Kubushi interdicted the organisers of the #FakeProphetsMustFall from making defamatory statements during the march. They were also interdicted from making defamatory statements on Facebook and to remove all statements regarding Bushiri from social media within 12 hours.