The deaths of five police officers and the subsequent killing of seven suspects after a rural police station was robbed in the Eastern Cape last week highlighted the need for Christian churches to develop and follow a code of ethics, according to the Evangelical Alliance.
This follows the bizarre involvement of a suspected cult in a robbery at a rural police station in Engcobo in the Eastern Cape last week.
The ensuing manhunt led police to the premises of the Mancoba 7 Angels Ministry near Mthatha, where a fatal shootout on Friday night between members of the church and police led to the arrest of 10 suspects after seven were killed. One of the Mancoba brothers who ran the church was one of the suspects who was killed. Yesterday, church leader Banele Mancoba confirmed to eNCA that three of his brothers were killed in the deadly shootout.
He admitted on national television that he knew on Thursday last week, before police raided the church premises, that his brother Thandazile Mancoba was linked to the police station robbery. Despite this, he claimed he did not know that the 10 firearms stolen from the station were hidden at the church premises, where police found them during the raid.
Moss Ntlha, secretary-general of the Evangelical Alliance, said that criminal enterprises were increasingly using the guise of religion to carry out their activities.
“People masquerade under the cover of the church and do all sorts of demonic things. That guy and those things reported about that church is something we strongly condemn.
“It is the same thing as people who tell people to use Doom and people who eat grass and call it a church. All of these are satanic trends and they are only going to increase with people who are into drugs, using the church to launder money,” he said.
The organisation wants churches to conduct a mass consultation process to have a binding code of ethics.