A 44-year-old man, Peter Nkomo, has been stoned to death. Nkomo was a member of International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) and was stoned to death on Wednesday night when a fight broke out among churchgoers over the church’s leadership.
Confirming the death, Police spokesman Warrant Officer Lolo Mangena said Nkomo, 44, gave up the ghost at the church’s premises in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, while three other members were seriously injured.
Mangena said, “Church members gathered to discuss the court case and the succession battle. There were two factions. A fight broke out and members started stoning each other. Stones were flying there.”
“Police were called to the scene at 10.50pm. The man succumbed to his injuries. The others were badly injured and taken to hospital. Four cars were damaged. Police have arrested four people in connection with the murder, malicious damage to property and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.”
Death Of International Pentecost Holiness Church Leader
Members of The International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) have continued to war against one another over who will succeed its dead leader, Glayton Modise. 76-year-old Modise died on February 9, 2016 at Mediclinic Morningside, north of Johannesburg, after a brief illness.
In February, the religious war got intensified after the late congregational leader’s son Tshepiso, also known as Tshepo, tried to take over the leadership of the church but his quest was vocally rejected by congregants. Many congregants rather chose Modise’s eldest son, Michael to lead them.
But Tshepiso had severally tried to make the hostile congregants believe via court papers in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, that before his father died, he appointed him as “Comforter”- all to no avail.
Meanwhile, the family of the deceased [Peter] has expressed sadness over the tragic loss of their son. Speaking to a local daily yesterday, Peter’s relative said, “Our [situation] is difficult and painful because we lost our brother.
Also, the high court in Pretoria heard of the violent and cruel murder that took place between the church members on Wednesday night.
Commenting on the shameful act by the church members, Judge Sulet Potterill expressed shock that the members took the other way around despite being cautioned by legal practitioners to take away violence from the case.
Potterill said, “I was terribly shocked and I had goose pimples when I saw you in court (on Tuesday). You all looked as pretty as a picture. Not in a long time have I seen such a mass of people in court and you adhered to the court’s strict decorum. But just this morning I was informed that there was serious violence from church-goers. That pretty picture that I had has completely dissolved.”
Judge Potterill then quoted two Bible verses to further prove the point that murder was a sin.”I realize there are practicalities to running a church but let’s not take the law into our own hands. Please let the courts decide on this matter,” she concluded.