Pretoria - The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) on Friday said it was withdrawing its officers, who provided mainly traffic management services at self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri's church services in Pretoria, due to non-payment by the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG).
“TMPD has stopped deployment at the church because the church still owes the [Tshwane] municipality for the last event. TMPD will also not provide any services to the church until it settles its account in full and pays the city upfront for future events,” said Tshwane mayoral committee member for community safety Karen Meyer.
She said the Tshwane Metro Police will be meeting the popular church’s leadership to discuss the matter of the outstanding payment.
Thousands of Bushiri’s followers gather several days at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria, and due to the massive crowds, the TMPD said it had been requested to provide crowd management and safety services, not close protection services to the charismatic preacher. The TMPD bills the event organisers, for example soccer teams, a fee.
“TMPD’s involvement in SAPS joint operations is in accordance with the South African Police Service Act, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) and regulations, and it takes place under the direction and lead of the SAPS. The SAPS has its own procedures for determining the need for deployment, and TMPD plays an auxiliary role as and when needed,” said Meyer.