Mpumalanga police on Wednesday condemned the torching of a church and the damage to the property of a pastor.
Police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said the pastor and his wife were woken up by loud shouts and noises coming from outside their home in the early hours of Monday morning.
“The terrified wife woke her husband up to inform him that their cars were burning. At the same time, the windows of their house were also pelted with stones.
“The couple quickly ran outside and witnessed their cars engulfed in flames, while some community members were already in the yard trying to extinguish the fire,” Hlathi said.
While they were busy trying to extinguish the blaze, the pastor received a call informing him that his church had also been set alight, he said.
Hlathi said police found a message addressed to the pastor on the wall of the church.
“The writing, among other things, accused the church of raping people. But currently, no such allegations of rape can be proven against the pastor or the congregants.”
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mondli Zuma called for the speedy arrests of those involved.
“We cannot allow lawlessness to prevail, where criminals go on the rampage and burn buildings, cars, and damage other people’s houses.
“There are laws in this country and no-one is allowed to destroy property in the name of being wronged or having certain grievances against other people.”
Cases of arson and malicious damage to property were opened.