Samwu condemns ‘embarrassing’ attack of officer by congregants
THE South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) condemned the attack on a Johannesburg metro police department officer (JMPD) by church members of the Revelation Church of God.
“Samwu condemns this attack on the officer, it is further embarrassing that church members could assault an officer of the law unprovoked and while executing his duties.
“We commend the officer for having have shown maximum restraint and further wish him a speedy recovery from the shock and bruises which he suffered as a result of the attack,” Samwu national spokesperson Papikie Mohale said.
Mohale said JMPD officers and other law enforcement officers are constantly under attack from criminals, it can’t be correct that the very same people who are supposed to be holding the moral high ground have also joined in on such attacks against law enforcement offices.
“We commend police for having arrested a church member for the illegal possession of a firearm issued to the JMPD officer.
“We further call on the police and JMPD to intensify all efforts to ensure that all perpetrators are arrested and face the full might of the law,” Mohale said.
In the video, a group of church members are seen running towards officer Siphiwe Sebati, whose gun is seen pointing in the air.
He is heard warning congregates that he would shoot. They are heard shouting and daring him to shoot.
The commotion came after officers were enforcing the city’s by-law, when a motor vehicle belonging to one of the church goers was illegally parked on a pavement.
When the officers approached the vehicle to impound it, they were greeted by a large angry group of church members who pounced on them.
Sebati was subsequently admitted to a Johannesburg private hospital after sustaining injuries in the attack. He was discharged yesterday.
“The officer is traumatised, he is receiving counselling,” JMPD spokesperson chief superintendant Wayne Minnaar said.
Meanwhile, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Gauteng caucus leader Bonginkosi Dhlamini said: “As the IFP in Gauteng, we strictly condemn the behaviour of the congregants.
“Law and order are an integral part of our society as laws are in place to protect everyone residing in the province. The public should therefore appreciate this and give due respect to the police to discharge their duties.
“We cannot live in a lawless society where chaos and anarchy reign. The culprits behind this despicable behaviour must therefore face justice.”
Nikelwa Pongco, a Johannesburg resident, said she did not like police storming inside a church during a service.
“This is disappointing, tavern-goers occupy pavements and roads all the time, people are being killed in the streets – what does our government do? The church goers were mistreated,” she said.
Church leader Derrick Sibisi said they felt they were attacked after sources told them that the JMPD wanted to shut down the church led by prophet SB Radebe.
CONDEMNED: Samwu spokesperson Papikie Mohale.