Willah Mudolo, one of the accused in a R100m case involving self-proclaimed Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri, will remain in custody after being denied bail on Tuesday.
Mudolo, who runs an investment firm and a property development company, appeared at the Pretoria magistrate's court alongside his wife Zethu and Landiwe Ntlokwana for the verdict on his bail application. His wife and Ntlokwana are out on bail of R100,000 and R20,000 respectively.
The trio, together with Sheperd Bushiri and his wife Mary, are facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering involving more than R100m relating to an alleged investment scheme through a company owned by Mudolo and his wife.
Magistrate Thandi Theledi said the conduct of Bushiri and his wife Mary, who skipped bail and fled to Malawi, played no role in the bail decision of Mudolo.
"The court finds that the applicant has failed to convince the court that the interstate of justice permits his release on bail, therefore bail is denied," she said.
Theledi said she was disturbed by allegations that Mudolo was able to communicate with people while in custody.
"While in custody he was still able to communicate with people outside in order to see what he can do, I am also deeply affected by this that he did so in an [alleged] attempt to try to bribe some of the court officials, "she said.
Mudolo, who is a Zambian national, previously told the court he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
The investigating officer, of the Hawks' specific organised crime unit, told the court Mudolo was in possession of three cellphones while he was detained at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre. The cellphones were later confiscated.
Mudolo will remain in custody and the case has been postponed to February 2021.