A pastor and his wife from the popular Gabola Church for All Nations in Evaton in southern Johannesburg are out on bail following their arrest for allegedly contravening the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
Pope Tsietsi Makiti and his wife, Lydia Makiti, were taken in on Sunday after they were caught allegedly conducting a church service at their home.
The Sedibeng Ster reported that they were found in possession of alcohol that was allegedly stocked at Makiti’s home. The publication said five other people were also taken in with the pair.
The church gained popularity after it declared itself as the first in the country where patrons were expected to drink alcohol during a service. At times, church services were held in taverns or shebeens.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said the suspects failed to close a non-essential establishment during lockdown – the Gabola Church.
“Other people were also arrested at another house in Evaton North for failing to confine themselves at their place of residence. Members of Public Order Policing unit were summoned to the scene after they were informed of a church activity in progress and, on their arrival, they found the suspects making or shooting a video.”
According to the Sedibeng Ster, the couple is out on R3,000 bail each, while the five other people are out on R1,000 bail each.
They are expected to return to court on 28 May.