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Pastor?s house burnt down, his property stolen after community accuses him of kidnapping children

Pastor?s house burnt down, his property stolen after community accuses him of kidnapping children

Police have arrested two persons after a local pastor’s house was burnt down over allegations of kidnapping children at Kgabalatsane village in Hebron, North West, South Africa.

The arrested suspects appeared before the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday, June 3, 2024, on varying charges including arson and possession of stolen property. 

The arrests follow the incident in which members of the community allegedly set alight a house belonging to a local church pastor last Thursday. 

“According to information at our disposal, members of the community accused the pastor of kidnapping and keeping children at his house,” said North West provincial police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani.

“It is alleged 300 members of the community gathered in front of the church at Kgabalatsane village, Hebron near Brits on Thursday, 30 May 2024, and demanded the release of the children.”

She said police consequently found three children at the premises, and handed them to their parents. However, the parents denied the allegations of kidnapping

Police then escorted the besieged pastor to the local police station after the angry mob of community members threatened to assault him.

“However, the police were later called and informed that the pastor’s house was burning. Subsequent to the incident, two suspects, aged 19 and 54, were arrested for arson and possession of suspected stolen property,” said Funani.

Meanwhile, North West provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena has commended the police for their swift reaction which led to the arrests.

Kwena urged the public to allow investigations to unfold and to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.

He said criminal activities should be reported to the police. 

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