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Gauteng hostage situation: Church members released, more arrests

It’s alleged ongoing conflict to succeed the leader of the church in Zuurbekom turned bloody when congregates allegedly attacked people who were inside, indicating that they were coming to take over the premises.

Several firearms were seized during a hostage incident at the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom on 11 July 2020. Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG - Several church members of the International Pentecost Holiness Church have been released after being held hostage, allegedly by a splinter group.

It’s alleged ongoing conflict to succeed the leader of the church in Zuurbekom turned bloody when congregates allegedly attacked people who were inside, indicating that they were coming to take over the premises.

Five people have been killed and more than 40 suspects, including members of various security forces involved in the siege, have been arrested.

The police's Vish Naidoo said: “Four men were shot in a vehicle and a fifth man, apparently a security official, was shot and killed in his vehicle. Police have arrested over 40 suspects and have recovered over 30 firearms. As the situation unfolds, the recovery of firearms is fluctuating.”

Naidoo said hostage negotiators managed to defuse the situation.

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