Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri speaks to authorities during a visit at the Stjwetla informal settlement following a fire that burnt over 100 shacks in the area. Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Self-styled prophet Shepherd Bushiri has dismissed suggestions that his visit to Alexandra was a publicity stunt.

Bushiri visited the township on Thursday to offer help to the community after a fire destroyed more than 100 shacks earlier this week.

He and his wife are out on bail after being arrested on charges of fraud and money laundering.

Bushiri addressed emergency services volunteers and thanked them for the work that they’ve done. He was surrounded by a group of about 50 supporters who live in the area.

The self-proclaimed prophet donated R400,000 to emergency services to help the children in Alexandra with their education.

Bushiri said he was concerned for the community.

“I’m a religious leader [and] I’m seriously concerned with the situation here. There’s no other reason for coming here apart from the vulnerable people who are distressed.”

He said he will be in the area next Tuesday to offer counselling services to the residents.