IPHC battle: cops get bad rap

Church and community members at Mokapane Magistrates Court for the appearance of 23 churchgoers arrested for public violence
Church and community members at Mokapane Magistrates Court for the appearance of 23 churchgoers arrested for public violence
Image: Antonio Muchave

Members of the controversial International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) in Limpopo have accused police of unlawfully arresting congregants and shooting at minors.

At least 23 people were arrested on Saturday, including nine minors, after two warring factions who allegedly support Bishop Jacob Modise and Michael Siyandlana as church leaders clashed during a church service at Danisani village near Mokopane.

Thomas Mochoeneng, who supports the Modise faction, said they came under attack from members of the opposing faction, who fired at them.

"We ran for cover while the elderly were assaulted with sticks. We managed to get out of the premises and regrouped to fight back."

Mochoeneng said they blocked the church entrance to trap the attackers inside but when police arrived they only arrested their members.

Attempts to solicit comment from the Siyandlana faction were unsuccessful.

Police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said: "We are not aware of that but they are more than welcome to take up the complaint with the station commander of Mahwelereng for intervention."

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