Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
THE founder of Oasis of Life Family Church, Apostle Isaac Sithole, was arrested for allegedly being in possession of state property - a South African Police Service cap and shirt.
This happened at the Poplar Women on the Frontline Conference held to coincide with Women's Day celebrations in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni on Saturday .
The arrest was carried out in full view of those attending the conference at the Marivate Park at 12pm.
Sithole was taken into police custody when the military police and SAPS allegedly found the items in the boot of his car.
It took an advocate and lawyers about six hours to at least find common ground with the police.
Sithole was only released at 7.30pm on warning, pending investigations.
Daveyton police station commissioner Superintendent Thomas Mahwiti confirmed Sithole's arrest and release to Sowetan.
Poplar is not part of Oasis although it is the brainchild of Sithole's wife, Sibongile Sithole.
Poplar members attending the event were asked to dress in camouflage attire in keeping with the day's theme: "Debora Arise As A Mother of A Nation."
About 2000 delegates heeded the call and came dressed in replica camouflage attire, while others unwittingly came dressed in the real South African National Defence Force uniform contrary to military rules.
Speaking to Sowetanon condition of anonymity, a senior military police officer confirmed that they were tipped that some delegates at the conference were illegally in possession of real SANDF uniforms.
"When were tried to confiscate all the army issued uniforms we were met with great aggression and resistance from some of the organisers. This unfortunately has led to an unsavory stand-off," the military officer said.
But pastor Sithole said when he arrived at the conference, tempers were already high.
"The items the military police and the SAPS claim were found in my car, I retrieved from one young man who had earlier refused to hand them over," Sithole said.
"When the man handed me the goods, I placed them in my car in the presence of the same police with a view to later take them to the police station and no one said anything.
"But because the situation was confusing and chaotic it never crossed my mind that the items were still in the car when it was later searched by other police at the gate," Sithole said.
"I was arrested and treated as a criminal. I have no grudge against those who arrested me," the pastor added.
The same sentiments were echoed by Pastor Simon Montle when he said in keeping with its mandate, the church harboured no ill feelings towards the military police and SAPS.