South African police said it arrested 40 people in connection with the murder of 5 people in an attack on a church in that country in the early hours of Saturday.
Police also said 40 firearms were recovered including rifles, shotguns and handguns, related to the attack on the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom.
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Meanwhile, some people who had been taken hostage by the attackers were later freed. The tragedy was confirmed by police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo during an interview with the eNCA television station. He said:
Everything was in complete disarray, so we have arrested all those that we reasonably believe are suspects, we are busy interviewing and interrogating them to establish exactly what the motive was.
Local media, however, reports that one potential motive for the attack is a power struggle at the church between rival factions.
South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa on June 1 allowed churches to resume services observing that religious leaders occupy positions of immense trust and authority in communities and need to play a proactive role in raising the level of public awareness around the coronavirus in their services, in faith communication groups and through their pastoral work and activities.
More: VOA Studio 7