Tshwane metro cops deny giving Bushiri church preferential treatment
The Tshwane metro police department (TMPD) has denied giving Shepherd Bushiri's Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church preferential treatment by deploying officers to a church service on Sunday.
"TMPD deployment at events is governed by legislation and policies. This deployment includes security services at large gatherings such as soccer and rugby matches at stadiums in Tshwane," community safety MMC Karen Meyer said on Friday.
"The SAPS has its own procedures for determining the need for deployment, and TMPD plays an auxiliary role as and when needed. Every event organiser is treated the same."
This comes after IOL reported on Wednesday that it saw a police joint operation which included more than a dozen police officers deployed to the ECG church service at the Tshwane Events Centre on Sunday.
The joint operation also included the TMPD and a private company, which was expected to deploy 96 personnel.
Police spokesperson Cpt Kay Makhubele confirmed to IOL that police officers were deployed, but said this was standard operational deployment as the church had applied for security through the proper channels.
Meyer said metro police would not be deployed to the church anymore due to non-payment.
"TMPD will also not provide any services to the church until it settles its account in full and pays the city upfront for future events," Meyer said.
ECG spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said on Monday that the church had about 25,000 congregants at a Sunday service.
He added that Bushiri "enjoys generic state security services as a citizen, but on a personal level, he hires his own private security".
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