Church­go­ers face court rap

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Po­lice in Mah­wel­ereng out­side Mokopane have ar­rested 23 mem­bers of the In­ter­na­tional Pen­te­costal Ho­li­ness Church (IPHC) for var­i­ous of­fences, in­clud­ing pub­lic vi­o­lence, Lim­popo po­lice said yes­ter­day.

The ar­rests em­anated from an in­ci­dent of pub­lic vi­o­lence which took place at about 3pm on Satur­day at Danisani vil­lage in the Mapela area, Colonel Moat­she Ngoepe said.

“It is al­leged that two ri­val groups of the church had an al­ter­ca­tion dur­ing a church ser­vice, where other mem­bers then went on the ram­page and started as­sault­ing sev­eral peo­ple and dam­aged ve­hi­cles which were parked within the church premises,” he said.

Po­lice were sum­moned to the scene and ar­rested 23 sus­pects, aged be­tween 14 and 23, for pub­lic vi­o­lence, as­sault with in­tent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm, com­mon as­sault and ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty.

Dur­ing the ar­rests, po­lice con­fis­cated more than 20 petrol bombs, one knife, four “big sticks” and a five-litre con­tainer. Two church mem­bers were taken to hos­pi­tal after sus­tain­ing se­ri­ous in­juries.

The sus­pects are sched­uled to ap­pear in the Mokerong Mag­is­trate’s Court to­day. Lim­popo po­lice com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Nneke Led­waba con­demned the vi­o­lent be­hav­iour of the con­gre­gants. – ANA

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