Five Killed at Megachurch Plagued by Leadership Feud, Money Disputes
Five people have been killed during a hostage situation at a South African megachurch that has been plagued with leadership disputes since the church leader's death.
Police were called to International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) in Zuurbekom, a town about 11 miles from Johannesburg, at approximately 3:00 a.m. local time. Four people had been shot and burned to death in cars; an additional victim, a security guard, was shot while responding to the incident, police believe. Investigators are looking into whether the four burned in their cars were part of the same group that stormed the church.
Brigadier Vish Naidoo, a police spokesperson, said that the group that stormed the church told those inside "they were coming to take over the premises."
At least 40 have been arrested and more than 34 guns have been seized by police. Six of the arrested people were taken to the hospital for undisclosed injuries. Police rescued a yet unknown number of hostages, reported to be men, women and children.
"The crime scene is still being processed and the figures of arrests and firearms seized may fluctuate as the Special Task Force, Tactical Response Team and Visible Policing members continue to comb the compound. These Units have also rescued men, women and children who are said to be living in the compound and were being held hostage," National Commissioner of Police General Khehla John Sitole said in a statement.
Police remain at the IPHS to protect the hundreds of people living on church premises, according to ...
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