Minister nabbed in church
WORSHIPPERS at a Soweto church were taken by surprise yesterday when their minister was arrested after the service.
The Uniting Reformed Church minister's arrest follows a charge of theft and malicious damage to property laid against him by a congregant.
The congregant allegedly lent his car to the priest in 2010 to use as he did not own a car at the time.
"I lent him the car in February 2010. In September last year I checked on the car with the minister and realised that the engine was missing," the congregant said.
The minister, who cannot be named until he appears in court, had allegedly promised to fix the car but has yet to do so.
"He promised me in October last year he would fix my car, but now he does not answer my calls," he said.
The minister was arrested just as the church service concluded, but many of the congregants were still there to witness the arrest.
As they filed out of the church, some members showed their displeasure at the arrest.
"This man is so bitter. To bring the cops to the church and have him arrested at the pulpit," one of the congregants said.
His wife, who cannot be named to protect his identity, was also displeased and said the congregant was jealous of her husband, who is a member of the South African Council of Churches.
The minister was taken to the Protea Glen police station in Soweto.
"He has been arrested for malicious damage to property and theft of a vehicle," police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubele said.
He is expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court today. - firstname.lastname@example.org