Congregants throw chairs at police after church service disrupted

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An illegal church gathering in Sebokeng turned violent on Sunday after police arrived to order a group of about 250 congregants to disperse.

Police say the churchgoers started throwing chairs at the officers, who responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades.

“Police in Sebokeng, Sedibeng District on Sunday 10 January 2021, arrested three suspects – two male church leaders aged 47 and 69 for contravening the COVID-19 Disaster Management Act, Adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations,” said Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.

The statement continued to explain that a 62-year-old woman was also arrested on a similar contravention and an additional charge of public violence.

Police officers responded to reports of an illegal gathering at a church in Sebokeng Zone 7, and on arrival, ordered the group of about 250 congregants to disperse.

“The group is reported to have defied police orders to disperse and the situation allegedly turned violent when the congregants started throwing chairs at the members, whereafter police responded with rubber bullets ans stun grenades to disperse the group,” Peters continued.

Police have called on the public to follow Lockdown Regulations against the “fast-spreading” COVID-19, and not to break the law.