Shepherd Bushiri urged his followers to be resilient in an online service free from the hindrances of prison on Friday.
Bushiri did not elaborate on his departure from South Africa to Malawi which triggered a diplomatic impasse. It also included the president of Malawi’s plane being delayed and searched after a visit to South Africa.
Bushiri, who goes by the title prophet, greeted his followers online with: “This is great, this is fantastic!”
The comments scrolled so fast it was almost impossible to read them, but there was an outpouring of heart emojis for “Papa”, “Major 1” or “daddy” as he is also known.
Between confirmation of what he was saying, a few comments criticised Bushiri who also ran an investment business.
His service from an ornate lounge chair focused on being bold about the word of God, telling people they were what God said they were, regardless of what other people said they were.
“Be bold. Don’t just say I’m going to have a miracle … no, you must have boldness.”
Occasionally speaking in a language not recognised by Google Translate, which may have been speaking in tongues, he also treated followers to a short spiritual ditty while searching for a passage of scripture.
He, his wife Mary, Landiwe Ntlokwana as well as Zethu and Willie Mudolo face charges of fraud, theft and money laundering relating to R102 million and an investment scheme.
Last Friday, it emerged he and his wife had not checked in with the police as required after being granted bail on the grounds that the risk of them absconding was minimal.
Bushiri stated he did not believe he would get a fair trial, and later cited comments by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on his legal status in South Africa as an example of possible foregone conclusions.
After a brief arrest in Malawi, he was freed after a court ruled his arrest in Malawi was not lawful.
The Malawi government was upset when the presidential delegation was delayed and searched last Friday night after President Lazarus Chakwera’s visit to South Africa.
The Nation in Malawi reported the government was considering South Africa’s initial approaches regarding the extradition of the Bushiris.
Bushiri told followers of his Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) he had been fasting.
On Sunday, he would have a prayer session with stewards and ushers, and also a service which would include prophecies.
Bushiri invited people to support ECG accounts in South Africa and asked anyone donating to stretch their hand towards the screen to bless them.