Diepsloot church shooting: Murdered pastor’s family demands justice

Five unknown men entered the church on Friday evening and started to shoot randomly at congregants.

The family of Pastor Vincent Sikhakhane, who was killed inside his church in Diepsloot on Friday, is calling for those responsible to be brought to book.

His murder comes after a group torched a few churches belonging to Zimbabweans on Wednesday, claiming criminals cleanse themselves in these churches after committing crimes.

ALSO READ: Pastor shot dead, two others wounded after armed robbers attack Diepsloot church

Johan Burger, of the Institute for Security Studies, said in the past decade public trust in the police has gone down by 50%.

“Police numbers have decreased over the last decade as well,” said Burger.

“The population is becoming bigger and the numbers of police are becoming few. It puts the police under pressure.”

Crime intelligence

Asked why the criminality in Diepsloot was not being picked up by crime intelligence, Burger said since the suspension of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli in 2010, there has not been a permanent head of the division.

“Crime intelligence has been in disarray from 2010 to 2011,” he said.

“Then you have the people that were appointed by the time he was the head, many of them are still there and we have seen how many of them in recent times has been arrested for corruption.

“Crime intelligence is no longer capable of producing the kind of proactive intelligence that can enable the police to act timeously to prevent things happening.”

Nkosithandile - sikhakhane - Church
Holiness Christian Revival Ministries Church member Sizwe Ntuli was shot and Pastor Sikhakhane was killed attending at church at Diepsloot in Johannesburg,16 October 2022, on Saturday evening during the night church vigil. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Nkosithandile Sikhakhane, the murdered pastor’s sister, said the men entered the church and demanded they lie down and hand over money and cellphones.

Sikhakhane said they started screaming and some of the men ran out but came back.

“After they ran out, my brother switched off the light and they came back and started randomly shooting, I think that is when my brother was shot,” said Sikhakhane.

“I went to him and he said ‘please take me to the clinic for help’. I helped him get up and get to the car. I told him to drive to the clinic and I was going to run there to get the ambulance.”

“He managed to get to the clinic but we were not allowed inside the ward he was in. After an hour, we were told he had passed on.”

Sifiso Ntuli, who was shot in the leg, said the perpetrators told them that they wanted to show them that people also die in the church and that this was the third time the church had been robbed.

NOW READ: Five men linked to nine murders in Eastern Cape arrested