Squabble over funds split Modise church

International Pentecostal Holiness Church leader Bobo Bethuel Modise allegedly offered to pay hitmen R3 million to kill his rival and brother-in-law Clayton Modise

Police officer Martinus Botha told the Westonaria magistrate's court yesterday that the meeting to kill Clayton Modise, leader of the International Pentecostal Church (IPC), was held in Boksburg between 2005 and 2006. He had investigated the matter but could not make a breakthrough.

"In 2008, I received a call from the complainant (Clayton) telling me that he was receiving SMSes threatening to kill him. On further investigation we were able to link the conspiracy to murder case with the threatening SMSes because the context of the messages showed that the accused (Bobo) wanted to kill the complainant," he said.

Botha said the SMSes were in a language he did not understand but Clayton explained their meaning to him. He said they were sent from two different numbers but with one cellphone.

"One SMS was sent from an 083 number and the rest were sent from 078 numbers. I tried to call the 078 number but there was no answer. I then called the 083 number and the accused answered," he said.

Botha said when he asked him (Bobo) if there was anyone else who used the number, he (Bobo) said no. Botha said police then confiscated Bobo's N70 cellphone and sent it for forensic examination.

Botha said network services provider MTN confirmed that the SMSes were sent from the phone police had confiscated from Bobo. Botha said they linked the SMSes through the cellphone's EMI number.

Bobo was arrested in 2008 and faced charges of crimen injuria. Bobo's lawyer Peter Bielderman asked if Botha was not interested in the case because Clayton was his friend.

Clayton is the son of IPC founder Frederick Modise, who died in 1998. Bobo is married to Frederick's daughter Jacqueline.

Bobo claimed his father-in-law had given him and his wife two Mercedes-Benz cars and a share in the millions he had left.

Bobo started a splinter group, the IPHC, in 2000 after a squabble over the church's riches.

The trial continues.