Part one of the legal battle, between two of the country’s most controversial church leaders, played out in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.
Self-proclaimed prophet Mboro won round one as his spiritual foe, Sheppard Bushiri, lost his bid to get an interim interdict against him. Judge David Makhoba did not rule on the merits of the case and he simply struck it from the roll for lack of urgency.
Bushiri will, however, have to foot the legal bill for this round.
Bushiri applied for an urgent interim interdict to gag Mboro as well as former taxi owner Felicia Sibeko and her husband Arthur, from badmouthing him on social media and in public.
He also wanted them to remove all offensive utterances they had made about him, from social media.
The Sibeko’s claimed that Bushiri had conned them out of their life savings, and they had made public statement in which they referred to Bushiri as, among others, a thief and a crook.
Mboro was vocal this week outside the court in his crusade against Bushiri, where he continued by making various utterances against Bushiri.
He seemed to have a lot of followers who agreed with his sentiments.
A crowd who gathered around him nodded their heads and clapped from time to time as Sibeko said he stood up for the poor and he could not comprehend how they could be conned out of their money.
An animated Mboro said a lot of the elderly congregants have also lost their money and he, Mboro, has to donate food to them.
While Mboro is not gagged at this stage to speak out against Bushiri, the latter is planning on continuing with his legal quest at a later stage, in which he will ask the court to declare the statements made by Mboro and the Sibeko couple against him, to be defamatory.
If he succeeded with that application, he demands a public apology from them, as well as R1-million in damages.
Advocate Dali Mpofu, who appeared on behalf of Bushiri, on Wednesday argued that apart from making false and defamatory statements against Bushiri, Mboro is also making xenophobic remarks in relation to him (Bushiri).
These include statements such as that Bushiri is “a liar and he must go back to Malawi.”
Counsel for Mboro argued that the horse has bolted and the statements are already out there, so there is nothing more to do.
But Mpofu said until the matter is finally vented in court some time later when their application for damages and to have the utterances declared defamatory is disposed of, Bushiri’s name is tainted if Mboro is not gagged.
The Sibeko’s claimed that they had lost their life savings – R130 000 – by investing in Bushiri’s gold Forex and commodities scheme.
Bushiri said he himself is a victim to the scheme, which later appeared to have been a scam.
It meanwhile emerged that he did pay the Sibeko couple their money back, as well as R5 000 extra.
Mpofu questioned in court that if the couple were paid back, why did they continue with their campaign against him in which they called him a fraudster and a thief.