Metro police shut down 16 churches in Joburg for violating by-laws

The majority of the churches closed were contravening by-laws. Stock image.
The majority of the churches closed were contravening by-laws. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/Goran Bogicevic

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) has closed 16 churches since January for contravening the city's by-laws.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar said the majority of the churches that have been closed were in Yeoville.

"The majority of the churches were contravening by-laws such as playing loud music and having no fire extinguishers," Minaar said.

Other churches were closed for contravening building regulations.

"There were buildings that were not meant to house churches. We closed others for obstruction of traffic," said Minaar.

He would not confirm if the churches had reopened since the raids.

"That we can't confirm."

According to eNCA, church leaders were initially "troubled" by reports of the raids, "but after engaging with JMPD officials, they conceded that compliance is important".

"Some churches may not know about the laws and that it’s important that they teach the churches first before raiding them," Grace Bible church leader Bishop Mosa Sono was quoted as saying.


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