The Magistrate's Court in Lilongwe has dismissed an application from the State to allow witnesses to use video conferencing in Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary Bushiri's extradition case.
The State, on Friday last week, was supposed to parade South African witnesses in Malawi courts as ordered by Magistrate Patrick Chirwa in March 2021 but the witnesses did not show up.
What transpired in court
In court, the State asked for several weeks to liaise with their South African counterparts and facilitate the flying in of the witnesses.
Speaking after court proceedings, lawyer for Bushiri Wapona Kita said they are happy with the ruling.
"That is what we had intended to happen."
Kita said their position is that they are ready to defend the case.
The State through Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni said: "It is a court order and we have to respect it and go with it."
On whether they will able to bring the witnesses to Malawi Kayuni explained the arrangements have to be made to make sure they comply with the court order.
Court ordered proceedings to resume on June 16th for parading of the witnesses.
Meanwhile, Bushiri posting to his 4 million followers on social media platform Facebook said: "In his ruling today, the magistrate underlined that it is mandatory that witnesses come to Malawi and testify in person. To mean, the witnesses MUST appear in Malawi Courts and give their testimony orally in public. This is part of the Constitutional right to a fair hearing.
"My wife and I welcome the ruling because, after years of being accused without being tried in South Africa, will, finally, face our accusers in the country.
"Soon justice will prevail."
Outside the court Bushiri thanked his followers for supporting him throughout.