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CRL Rights Commission says IPHC mediation efforts to end in 2 months' time

The commission has held several meetings with warring parties following a dramatic and deadly hostage situation at the Zuurbekom church, west of Joburg earlier this month.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The CRL Rights Commission on Sunday said that it was confident that its mediation in the International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) crisis would be concluded in two months’ time.

The commission has held several meetings with warring parties following a dramatic and deadly hostage situation at the Zuurbekom church, west of Joburg earlier this month.

Over 200 congregants were held hostage during a standoff between feuding factions there.

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. A fifth person was reportedly killed by a stray a bullet.

Firearms were seized and scores arrested.

Leaders of the factions were locked in a battle for control since the death of the son of the churches’ founder.

The parties have been in and out of court for control of the church for years now following the death of Clayton Modise.

CRL Rights Commission chairperson, Professor David Masona, said that the leaders had committed to working together to restore peace.

"The groups must have respect for each other, and no leader should incite or instigate any form of violence," Masona said.

It was reported that the attack was fuelled by the leader of the Jerusalem faction, Micheal Sandlana, who denied the claims.

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