Churchgoers screamed in apology to thugs who shot at them inside a church during an overnight prayer in Diepsloot Extension 2.
Following the attack, a pastor died and two others were hospitalized.
Before the building was attacked, the pastor of Holiness Christian Revival Ministries in Ext 02 was holding an all-night prayer service.
A witness who asked not to be named told Scrolla.Africa that three thugs, all carrying firearms, stormed the church just after 11pm on Friday night.
“We suddenly heard gunshots outside the church. Then in no time, three men armed got inside the church and chaos erupted.
“He said by that time, the service was on, the pastor was at the pulpit with a microphone as people were worshipping, babies were sleeping on the floor, other congregants were seated and some walking around as they prayed.
“The armed man shot a pastor with more than four bullets. They further shot two more men and hit them with their guns. In no time, blood was everywhere,” he said.
He said the robbers got inside the church and disconnected the generator that was supplying electricity.
“They then snatched bags and demanded cell phones from helpless congregants who were at the time pleading for their lives and all you could hear was, “siyaxolisa” (we apologise) as some continued calling on the name of Jesus Christ’s son of God.
“Unfortunately, one pastor succumbed to death earlier on Saturday morning whereas the two other men are fighting for their lives in the hospital,” the source said.
Scrolla.Africa this week published a series of stories about residents’ pleas to get help from the police as the township is back on its knees with high crime.
On Wednesday residents marched to the police station to hand over a memorandum of demands among which was the high visibility of police and the return of the Amaberete (TRT).
On the same day, residents went on a rampage in destroying and burning church structures mostly used by Zimbabweans.
Community leader Noza Mboweni said residents who have been under siege are calling for President Ramaphosa and Minister Bheki Cele to address their concerns.
“Minister Cele promised us peace, but that has not happened as criminals continue to rule us,” he said.