CrimeLocal news

Vosloorus congress traumatised after deadly Easter Sunday

The Gauteng police are investigating cases of murder, attempted murder, business robbery and house robbery after a woman was killed and two others shot.

What was supposed to be a celebratory Easter weekend for the congregation of Vision of God turned deadly because of a church robbery at the R257, Ext 2, Vosloorus, in the early hours of March 31.

The congress gathered at the home of a local club, Kathorus Hyper Academy, for an Easter commemoration. They generally host their usual services at Fortunate Kunene Primary School.

For this event, the church needed a bigger venue, so they booked a hall to accommodate the members and guests. Some of whom were visiting the church for the first time.

The premises, fenced with a brick wall and a gate, has about six rooms attached to the hall where they held the service, and opposite it is the kitchen with a single room next to it.

The kitchen is opposite the hall.

The Easter celebration was to run for three days, from March 29.

On the fateful morning, at about 03:00, three men armed with firearms entered the premises.

One suspect, who wore pink gloves, shot and killed a woman (55) before robbing people of their cellphones.
According to sources, they only wanted cellphones and never asked for money or car keys.

Two other church members suffered bullet wounds. The pastor tried to run to close the door after seeing the man peeking inside through the window. He was shot in his hand, and the bullet went through it and hit his thigh.

The second woman was shot in the shoulder while in the kitchen.


At the time of the incident, three church members were preparing food in the kitchen, and another group of congresswomen were practising a dance item at the gate as the rest of the congress continued with the service inside.

The robbers shot the second woman in the shoulder. She was inside the kitchen opposite the hall in the early hours of March 31.

One church member, *Maria Molopi, said she was among the group of women selected to perform a dance item for the congress. She said they saw the men whistling as they passed on the street near the gate while they were outside practising.

“We were supposed to check a verse in the Bible, and it was dark. I used the torchlight on my phone to brighten the Bible as we searched for the verses. I think the touch light attracted them,” said Molopi.

She said they were singing as they went back inside the hall. As she approached the door, she looked to her left and saw a man with a hoody and a brownish mask covering his mouth and nose peeking through the window.

“I suspected we might be robbed and told my sister we should run. At the time, I was the only one inside. I did not see where the rest of the group was. We fought because I wanted to go outside, and she was pushing me back inside the hall.

“The woman behind me told us the three intruders demanded cellphones as she tried to get inside. Then they shot her. After that, I do not know what happened. I got under the table, and we started praying to God to help us. I was surprised the pastor was shot.”

*Kamogelo Motladi (31) was among those who saw what transpired because she hid under a table. A friend had invited her to the Easter church service for the first time.

According to her version of the incident, after the two gunshots, everyone panicked and got on the floor.
She also lay on the floor next to the door where she was seated. She hid her head under a chair covered with a decoration cloth.

The hall where the congress of Vision of God was robbed during the Easter Sunday celebration. A 55-year-old woman was killed, and two other church members were shot inside the hall during the church service.

“As they were demanding we give them our phones, the suspect near the door was kicking me in my stomach. The other suspect was collecting phones inside. I thought I was going to die,” said Motladi.

Even after they took the phones, they demanded more, threatening to kill anyone who still had a cellphone, she explained.

“I left my tablet inside the Bible. I crawled towards the Bible to check if it was still there, then slid back next to a senior citizen who refused to lie down,” she continued.

“The suspect threatened to shoot her if she continued to resist. She asked the suspect to leave because they had taken all the phones.

“I was scared because my head was near her legs. I was worried I could get caught in the crossfire. Everyone pleaded with her to lie down. Luckily, one of the members pulled her down.”

She said another woman started crying. She asked for water because she said she had had an asthma attack and was struggling to breathe.

“At first, one of the suspects told her to shut up while threatening to shoot but later gave her a glass of water as he requested her not to look at his face,” Motladi detailed.

The congregation of Vision of God booked the hall at the R257, Ext 2, Vosloorus, to accommodate the church members and guests between March 29 and the evening of March 31.

The pastor was on the floor bleeding and asked to be taken to the hospital, but the suspect pointed a firearm at his forehead before kicking him in the face.

One suspect later went to the kitchen, where he found three women. He pointed a firearm at them and asked them to hand over their cellphones.

“I think one of the women was still in shock. She was not responding to the suspect, who shot her in the shoulder before forcing them to join the others in the hall.”

When the suspect returned to the hall, he told the congress the phones they had taken were not enough and threatened to force everyone to stand against the wall so he could search them.

Molopi said she gave them her iPhone 13 and asked them to leave the congress alone.

“They took the phone and ran off. It seemed they had arranged a getaway vehicle because we heard a vehicle engine turn on after they left. The two shot individuals were rushed to Thelle Mogoerane Hospital for medical attention.”

She said when they reported the matter to the Vosloorus SAPS, the police told them there were no vehicles.

“I was disappointed because one can trace an iPhone. I made sure it was on before I gave it to them. The police could have found those suspects before 06:00, but they said even if they traced the phone, there were no vehicles at the station,” said Molopi.

The police appealed to the public to help with any information that could help trace and arrest the three suspects. If you have any information, call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or 10111.

• Not their real names.

Related Articles

Back to top button