Barry Roux will defend Prophet Bushiri

Defence lawyer Barry Roux, left, leaves the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg with Investec chief executive Fani Titi, after he brought charges of crimen injuria against Peter - Paul Ngwenya for calling him the k- word, 23 April 2018. Photo: Nigel Sibanda

Advocate Barry Roux will defend controversial religious leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, who stand accused of money laundering and fraud, The Sowetan reports.

The advocate, best known for his role in the convicted murderer and former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’s defence team, has been back in the news, with this being the second high profile case he’s taken on recently.

AfriForum recently announced that Roux would lead the appeal process of two Coligny men convicted of killing a teenager for stealing sunflower seeds. Roux’s role in the appeal will see him working together with advocate Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor he famously faced off against during the Pistorius trial.

It was reported on Monday that the case against Bushiri and Mary was been postponed to Wednesday, February 6.

Bushiri and his wife appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court after the Hawks and police arrested them on several allegations, including contravening the Exchange Control Regulations Act in relation to $1,147,200 worth of foreign currency.

Hundreds of Bushiri followers protested outside the court in a show of unwavering support for the self-proclaimed prophet and his wife. Congregants from the church were seen singing and dancing outside the commercial crime court.

The followers expressed outrage at the arrest, casting aspersions on the validity of the charges. Many devotees labelled the arrest of Bushiri and his wife a “persecution”.

The self-proclaimed prophet’s Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church was the scene of a tragedy on December 28, when three women were killed in an apparent stampede during a service. Nine other congregants were injured as they ran for shelter during a heavy rainstorm.

Bushiri said the inadequate presence of the City of Tshwane’s law enforcement was to be blamed for the stampede.

The CRL Rights Commission ruled that Bushiri’s service, at the Tshwane Events Centre, was fully compliant with municipal bylaws and the Safety at Sports and Recreation Events Act (SSRE Act).

Compiled by Daniel Friedman / Additional reporting by ANA / The Citizen