Tensions between police and the International Pentecost Holiness Church, outside Johannesburg, are growing. A large police contingent was called to the church’s HQ on Monday night for one vehicle that was allegedly stolen. The church claims it was all a big misunderstanding. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - A large police contingent was called to the church’s HQ on Monday night -- all for one vehicle that was allegedly stolen but the church claims it was all a big misunderstanding.
Earlier this month, five people were killed at the compound during a violent hostage situation over church leadership.
Reports of a stolen vehicle led to a massive police deployment to the Zuurbekom church this past Monday night.
JMPD confirms that initially, one of its officers, and two members of a tracking company, followed the vehicle into the church compound, before having the gates shut on them.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar said, “when backup arrived, the gates of the yard were opened, and the hijacked vehicle was removed from the yard."
No one was arrested.
The church now tells us that both the owner and driver, of the vehicle are actually members of the church and that the vehicle was only flagged as stolen because it travelled through a dangerous area that night.
When they couldn’t reach the owner on his phone, church security apparently agreed with the officer,
that they return the next day to sort the situation out.
Abiel Wesse, chairperson of the IPHC, said, “they took the keys, left peacefully and the gate was locked again, and later they came back with the backup from JMPD, they broke the lock, gained entry, took the vehicle and left,”
“I’m told they were very arrogant, at some stage, one of the white officers said, whether we call the owner or not, we’re impounding the f****n’ vehicle,"
The church said security was no doubt suspicious of the officer, as it’s understood those who attacked the compound, on 11 July, were posing as law enforcement.
The church says it’s now considering taking action, claiming the police never produced any papers on Monday night, in an incident that sparked far too much unnecessary tension.
In response to the church’s claims, the JMPD said the SAPS is now investigating the entire matter.
However, SAPS says it has no record of the case.