More arrests in Ngcobo police killings probe

Three other suspects were handcuffed over the weekend at the Seven Angels Ministry.

Religious leaders hold a prayer service for the victims of the Ngcobo Police Station attack. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks say investigations into the Ngcobo police killings have led to further arrests and other crimes.

A task team investigating February's massacre, in which five policemen and an off-duty soldier were killed, has also linked four of the six suspects to a double murder in KwaZulu-Natal.

Three others were handcuffed over the weekend at the Seven Angels Ministry.

The police's captain Anelisa Feni said: “Three suspects aged between 22 and 30 years old will be appearing for conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery. Let me explain something, while we were conducting our investigation, we managed to uncover other cases which were not related to the Ngcobo police killings, we have linked them to a robbery case during 2017.”

RELIGIOUS SECTOR EXPOSED

Last week, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission) said the recent developments at the Seven Angels Ministries are proof that there aren’t enough laws governing the religious sector.

The Ngcobo church, which has been branded a cult is accused of harbouring murderers, cutting congregants off from society and brainwashing them.

Seven men were killed at the church last week and 10 more arrested during a raid on the premises in search of a group of cop killers.

The CRL Commission’s Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva said they noted issues around the Ngcobo-based church two years ago when they interviewed the church leaders, known as angels.

“When you hear that you know at some point money is going to run dry here. And when money runs dry, it’s going to be problematic.”

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the commission then sent a report to Parliament but were informed that there were enough laws to oversee the religious sector.

“But you can’t arrest them when people say there are enough laws to deal with these things. Which laws were supposed to apply in Ngcobo at that particular time before they went to the police station?”

She said the Eastern Cape church is a godsend incident to show that there’s a need for regulation in the religious sector.

Additional reporting by Hitekani Magwedze.