CRL says Parliament to blame for cult killings in Ngcobo

On Friday night, a police task team killed seven suspects and arrested another 10 at a church linked to the murder of five police officers in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

FILE: Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The CRL Rights Commission says it will take Parliament to the Constitutional Court if it fails to pass a law that will regulate pastors and religious leaders.

On Friday night, a police task team killed seven suspects and arrested another 10 linked to the murder of five police officers in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

The raid happened at a church used by a cult.

It has now been revealed that the commission had warned Parliament about the cult, but it says Parliament ignored its warnings.

The commission's Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva says they came across the cult during an investigation about two years ago and reported it to Parliament, but nothing was done.

“We did say people will die at that point, one way or the other, but we couldn’t predict that the police will be the first ones to die.”

Mkhwanazi Xaluva says Parliament told them to conduct a consultative conference with the religious sector but refused to fund it.

She says the commission is now considering the highest court in the land as its next option.

“We must do what we should have done a long time ago, go to the Constitutional Court and ask for a declaratory order.”

She says because there is no law to govern the religious sector, incidents like these should be blamed on Parliament.

But Parliament says the police station shooting was an act of pure criminality and is disturbed by the commission’s comments

Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says they will reach out to the commission to address the matter.

“He has got no right whatsoever to instruct Parliament to make legislation because Parliament, in terms of the Constitution, is independent. It has got the rights and powers to determine its own procedures.”

CHURCH SEALED FOR INVESTIGATION

The church where seven suspects were killed remains sealed off as investigators comb the scene for further clues on a suspected cult there.

It’s now reported the gang had planned to kill more officers.

Police have confirmed that firearms stolen during the murder of officers at the Ngcobo Police Station were recovered at the church at Nyanda village where a cult had been living.

Eyewitness News has been reliably informed that police recovered two shotguns two rifles and six 9mm pistols at the scene of Friday night's shootout at Nyanda village all of which were stolen from the Ngcobo police station.

It’s also understood that 43 male suspects were detained for questioning and 11 vehicles are being checked to see if they are linked to criminal activity.

It has been reported that 10 men who were arrested are members of the cult.

However, police spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga says this will be confirmed as the investigation continues.

“So as soon as the investigation is a bit clearer to all of us, that’s when we’ll say with assurance that they were members of that particular church. The only thing that worried us was that the church was housing the criminals.”

He says women and children were rescued from the scene and the church will be closed as soon as investigations have been concluded.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)