3 who died in stampede at Prophet Bushiri's church identified

2019-01-06 13:31
Self-styled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sunday World, file)

Self-styled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sunday World, file)

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The bodies of three people who died during a stampede at the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church on December 28 have been positively identified by their families, police said.

The three women died when a group of congregants reportedly ran for cover during a thunderstorm at the Tshwane showgrounds, where the church is currently housed.

Nine others were injured.

READ Sanco: Bushiri lawyers xenophobia accusations an attempt to shift the blame

Police are investigating the stampede and a case of defeating the ends of justice is also ongoing, following allegations that the bodies were allegedly moved to a private mortuary before the police were called to the scene.

On Sunday, Tshwane West Cluster spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe said that the bodies of Nondumiso Patricia Pringane, Matshila Sarah Mohlala and Lehlogaholo Maria Segodi had all been positively identified.

She said that Pringane's body was identified by her sister on December 31, while the other two were identified by their families late last week.

Selepe told News24 on Sunday that the bodies were moved from the private mortuary on December 30, and calls were made for the family members to come forward to identify them.

She said the case of defeating the ends of justice was "at an advanced stage".

Self-styled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's lawyers and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), meanwhile, have found themselves in a war of words, after Sanco held a protest outside the church on Friday evening.

According to EWN, Bushiri's lawyers labelled Sanco's stance toward their client as "xenophobic", and called for the public to allow the police do its work.

Sanco responded on Saturday, saying the accusation that their comments were xenophobic was "utter nonsense", and was an attempt at shifting the blame away from the pastor.

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Read more on:    shepherd bushiri  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  accidents
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