Two robbers were shot dead and another was possibly wounded when they stormed into the Querencia Ministries church in Wierda Park, Centurion during a service on Sunday and proceeded to rob the congregants at gunpoint.
According to Netwerk24, the two were shot by Pieter van der Westhuizen, a congregant and brother of the late Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen.
It was reported that none of the congregants were injured.
Pastor Kobus Erasmus and some of the congregants were shoved around and pistol-whipped, Ruan Heyns of Community Emergency Response Team told Netwerk24. A 15-year-old boy was also reportedly grazed by a bullet.
Van der Westhuizen’s attorney, Ulrich Roux, told Netwerk24 that his client – a former police officer – acted in self-defence when he took out his weapon and shot the two attackers.
One of them was reportedly holding a pistol to Erasmus’ head. A third was shot at but reportedly managed to flee. Van der Westhuizen is co-operating with the police investigation.
According to the police, three men entered the church and robbed churchgoers of their personal belongings, News24 reported.
One of the congregants then allegedly opened fire, killing two of them inside the church, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters told News24.
The third managed to escape in a getaway car after being shot at.
“The pastor sustained minor injuries and was treated on site,” Peters said.