A JOBURG central Seventh Day Adventist Church was robbed at gunpoint on Saturday afternoon.
According to reports on social media, six armed men entered the church as visitors, and when the preacher was at the podium, the men got up, ordered him to lie down, and took all cellphones, wallets and other valuables from the congregation and stomped out.
Johannesburg CBD: Six armed men stormed a church and robbed people. The pastor was at the podium at the time. Wallets, phones & valuables stolen from members of the congregation. pic.twitter.com/cLXx1IOyKX
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) November 26, 2022
Speaking to The Star, church deacon Prince Thebe said: “We were just in the middle of the service, and some six guys came in, pointed guns at us, and started asking money for offerings and cellphones.
“When the first guy came in, he went to the front seat, and while sitting there, he kept looking around and moving seats. The other deacon went to him and asked him what he wanted. He said, ‘I’m visiting, and I don’t know where to sit’. He then suddenly stood up and went out.
“A few minutes later, a group of guys stomped inside the church, from the right and left sides of the doors. One went straight to the preacher in the front, pointed a gun at him, and told him to lie down. The other guys were busy with the congregation, walking pew by pew and collecting cellphones. They then asked for the money for offerings, and we showed them the basket. They took the money and ran off.”
Gauteng police opened a business robbery docket and the acting provincial commissioner, Major-General Tommy Mthombeni, condemned the attack on the church and said: “Police will do everything to bring the perpetrators to book. Church members should be allowed to do their business peacefully.”
Last month five armed men stormed into a church Diepsloot and fired shots that led to the death of the pastor and injured two congregants.
About 50 congregants of Holiness Christian Revival Church were praying and worshipping when the five unknown men entered the church at about 11.45pm and allegedly started shooting.
The suspects robbed the congregants of their cash and cellphones. Three of the people who were shot, including the pastor, were taken to a local medical centre where the pastor died on arrival.
Recent crime statistics shared by Police Minister Bheki Cele early this month showed that South Africa has been more engulfed in crime than it was during the second quarter of last year. Almost every category of crime, from murder to sexual offences and robberies, recorded an increase in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.