Forensics team returns to controversial Ngcobo church

2018-03-01 18:29
(File, Supplied: SAPS)

(File, Supplied: SAPS)

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Ngcobo - A team of forensic officials arrived at the controversial Seven Angels Ministry in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape on Thursday, which was recently thrust into the spotlight when five police officers and a soldier were shot dead in the town.

Members of the team were clad in blue scrubs and blue gloves.

Two men in handcuffs were also spotted with the team. One was dressed in orange trousers and a grey hoodie, with his feet shackled, and the other was dressed in a red jacket and blue jeans, with his hands cuffed.

It is believed that the men were in the process of pointing out evidence at the church.

READ: We feel powerless - CRL on Seven Angels Ministry

The controversial church turned into a crime scene at the weekend when seven people linked to the murders were shot and killed during a shootout with police, who wanted to enter and search the premises.

Among those killed were three Mancoba brothers, who were leaders of the church.

The church was led by seven Mancoba brothers, Xolisa, Thandazile, Banele, Philile, Phuthumile, Benjamin and Ephraim – following the death of their father in 2015.

The church is no stranger to controversy. In February 2016, police and social workers had to forcefully enter the church to remove 18 children who were reportedly prevented form going to school.

READ: 18 kids taken from Eastern Cape church must go to school

It was also reported at the time, that older members of the church were forbidden from working and engaging with people outside of the church.

Eastern Cape social development officials were also at the church on Thursday afternoon.

According to a resident who lives next to the church, some church members were seen carrying blankets, suitcases, clothes and other personal belongings off the church premises and into a department vehicle before leaving with officials.

On February 21, a group of unknown attackers entered the Ngcobo police station and without warning, randomly opened fire on officers who were on duty. Three officers were killed at the police station.

The gunmen then separated the female police officers from their male counterparts, before taking six pistols, two shotguns and two assault rifles.

A soldier was subsequently shot and killed as the group fled the scene. The bodies of two additional officers were later found, shot execution style, along the roadside near Nyanga High School, about 6km from the police station.

Ten people were arrested and taken in for question and six of them have since appeared in the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court on different dates.

All six are expected back in court on March 8.

Read more on:    ngcobo  |  crime  |  ngcobo massacre

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