The attack on a church on Saturday in Zuurbekom, west of Johannesburg, which left five dead, is causing even more rifts between factions. The International Pentecostal Holiness Church has once again blamed a splinter group for the bloody incident. The splinter group meanwhile insists that its members were the ones killed. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - The CRL Rights Commission has condemned the deadly attack on the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, west of Johannesburg.
Gunmen stormed the church, killing five people over the weekend in what is believed to be a leadership feud.
At least 40 people have since been arrested in connection with the incident.
"As the CRL Commission, we believe that regardless of the motives of the assailants who committed this hostage incident, however, there can never be any justifiable reason whatsoever for anyone to storm into a church fully armed with various types of ammunitions with an intention to attack or even take away anyone’s life," the commission said in a statement.
"In essence, this criminal act is not only an attack on the people who were there, but it is fundamentally an attack on their faith and a serious desecration of a place of worship which many people hold in high regard."
The attack is causing even more rifts between the factions.
The International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) has again blamed a splinter group for the bloody incident while the splinter group insists that its members were the ones killed.
Some 200 congregants were also held hostage and later rescued by police.
IPHC leader Leonard Modise said they are pleading with law enforcement to intervene.
The South African Union Council of Independent Churches said churches' business interests add to leadership battles.
"There was never an incident of this nature, until now recently, when this splinter group started what they're doing. This matter is before the High Court and they are impatient for the due process of the law to unfold," Abiel Wessie, the church's executive council chairperson said.