Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Pretoria - Sixteen members of International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC), who were involved in a fight that led to a deadly stone-throwing confrontation have appeared in the Soshanguve Magistrate's Court where they were released on bail of R2 000 each.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation - better known as the Hawks on Friday said 14 males and two females aged between 23 and 62 were arrested during a raid. The early morning swoop was carried out on Thursday in and around Mabopane, just outside Pretoria.

''It is alleged that in April 2016, IPHC youth groups from different branches around the country visited the Mabopane IPHC branch and requested an audience with the pastor in charge of the region to discuss the court case and the succession battle following the death of the late Senior Pastor, Glayton Modise, " said Hawks spokesperson, Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

"A fight allegedly broke out and members started stoning each other with an assortment of objects. One church follower succumbed to his injuries, 11 other members were seriously injured and were transported to various hospitals in Pretoria. Four vehicles were also extensively damaged during the scuffle."

Mulamu said the matter was referred to the Hawks in May this year and with the assistance of crime intelligence, 16 out of the 19 suspects were arrested. The other suspects are still being sought and will be arrested soon.

Those that were arrested are expected back in court on 8 February, next year. They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

African News Agency/ANA