Pretoria – A church service at the highly-popular Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church in Pretoria had to be cut short on Friday night due to a power failure at the rented premises, the South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed on Saturday.
“Yesterday, [Friday] the ECG church experienced [a] power failure at one of the halls that they were using [in the City of Tshwane Events Center]. The generators and solar panels were also dysfunctional. SAPS and the Tshwane metro police advised the church that it was not safe to proceed with the church service under the current circumstances of power failure,” police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe told African News Agency (ANA) in Pretoria.
Selepe said the church welcomed the police's advice and voluntarily opted to terminate the Friday night service. “The congregation started dispersing at around 9 pm. The police left the Tshwane Events Center at around midnight,” she said.
The ECG church draws thousands of people to its services several days each week. The SAPS is investigating a case of defeating the ends of justice against the church following the death of three congregants in a reported stampede and at least 17 injured in December.
"The charge is laid, based on the fact that police have established that the deceased were certified died at the church premises. The incident was not reported to the police and the bodies were removed and taken to a private mortuary - Red Ford Mortuary,” Selepe told ANA at the time.