Officials from the Enlightened Christian Gatherings Church of prophet Shepherd Bushiri have denied claims that there was a fourth person who died in a stampede at the church in late December.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has claimed that a 58-year-old woman from Mpumalanga died in the incident, and that they are investigating to uncover if there were more victims. Police have denied the claims, leading to confusion over the matter.

Sanco have vowed to go ahead with a peaceful march at the Enlightened Gatherings Church, when it opens again on the 18th of January.

Lawyer for the church, Terence Baloyi says Sanco’s claims are just a ploy to shut down the church.

“No, we know nothing about a fourth person. Actually, we are shocked and surprised to hear Sanco speaking publicly to say that there’s a fourth body – a fourth body which we never heard about, which was not part of the stampede. It’s quite shocking and alarming. It’s clear that they are on a witch-hunt of some sort. We’re not happy about their allegations and just glad that the police have cleared that,” says Bushiri.

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