Police in Mahwelereng, outside Mokopane in Limpopo, have arrested 23 members of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) for various offences, including public violence. The members are between the ages of 14 and 23, reports Polokwane Review.
The arrests emanate from an incident of public violence which took place on Saturday afternoon in Danisani village in the Mapela area.
Police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe said two rival groups of the church had an altercation during a church service where members went on a rampage and began assaulting several people and damaged vehicles which were parked within the premises.
“Police were summoned to the scene and arrested the suspects for public violence, assault GBH, common assault, and malicious damage to property. During the arrest, police confiscated more than 20 petrol bombs, one knife, and four big sticks,” he said.
Two church members were taken to hospital after sustaining serious injuries.
“The suspects will appear before the Mokerong Magistrates Court [on] 14 January. Police investigations continue.”
Limpopo SAPS Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has condemned the violent behaviour of these congregants.
“We urge religious groups and all churchgoers to settle their differences in a peaceful and legal manner rather than indulging in acts of violence,” he concluded.