Evaton protests puzzle police
Johannesburg - Criminals may have been the source of a "satanic" rumour at Living Waters Church in Evaton, south of Gauteng, police said on Thursday.
"While we were busy with unrest at the Living Waters Church two supermarkets and at least six foreign traders were looted," police spokesperson Constable Tshifhiwa Mitileni said.
The crimes and the accompanying violent protests, which have been going on since Tuesday, have pushed Evaton into the "red" making it a high crime zone, he added.
The Evaton protests were triggered by a rumour that the church was satanic and that children were being kidnapped by church leaders.
Mitileni said there had never been any complaint about the church before and police were puzzled by the protests.
"If this was the case why has nobody ever laid a charge or complained to us about children disappearing."
The 1 000-strong crowd of protestors were also not all from Evaton but appeared to have arrived from surrounding areas.
"There is something else at the bottom of this but we will find out what it is," he said.
On Tuesday eight people were arrested. There were more arrests but the exact number of arrests could not be confirmed on Thusrday.
"Today people are going back to work and the situation is quieter," Mitileni said.
- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.