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41 suspects in IPHC attack due in court on Monday

Earlier this month over 200 congregants, were held hostage in a deadly standoff between feuding factions of the International Pentacostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, west of Johannesburg.

Police arrested several people and over 25 firearms were seized during a hostage incident at the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom on 11 July 2020. Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG – The court case against 41 people accused of killing members of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) is expected to be heard in The Westonaria Magistrates court on Monday.

Earlier this month over 200 congregants, were held hostage in a deadly standoff between feuding factions of the church in Zuurbekom, west of Johannesburg.

A splinter group allegedly entered the place of worship and held members of the church including women and children at ransom for hours.

Four members were killed and set alight inside a vehicle while a fifth person, a security guard – who attended to the scene, was shot and killed in his car.

The bail application for 41 suspects linked to the murder of five people at IPHC was postponed earlier this week after an employee at the Westonaria Magistrates Court tested positive for COVID-19.

The suspects, who are believed to be part of the splinter group that stormed the church, include a police officer, a member of the South African National Defense Force and a Johannesburg Metro Police Department official.

The national prosecuting authority’s Phindi Mjonondwane said the group faces charges of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

“The bail hearing for 41 men allegedly linked to the attack at the IPH church will proceed on Monday at the Westonaria Magistrates Court on Monday.”

The church, which has more than three million congregants in Southern Africa, has been at war over an ongoing leadership feud between the sons of the late church leader Glayton Modise who died in 2016.

VIDEO: 2018 shooting at Zuurbekom church leaves 3 people wounded