4 church bells stolen on West Rand
Johannesburg - The bells of four West Rand churches have been stolen in the past month, the Sowetan newspaper reported on Monday.
"Our churches are under attack by criminals," Lutheran church minister Johannes Motlhatlhedi told the publication.
"Other churches had depended on our church bell to start their own services."
Another reverend said that although congregants had watches and clocks in their homes, they depended on church bells to alert them to when services were about to start.
The four targeted churches were Pentecostal Holiness, St Paul, Methodist and Evangelical Lutheran.
Methodist church steward Dennis Nhlapo said they could not understand how its "big bell could have slipped out that easy".
"Our bell was so big five people could not carry it."
He said congregants had searched for the bell at local scrap yards, but had not found it.
The newspaper said the perpetrators attempted to steal the United Reform church's bell, but failed because it was higher up and well-secured. The thieves resorted to taking the church's clock instead.