Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has sought to explain the events that led to a stampede during a church service in Pretoria last month.

He is representing the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church at a hearing convened by the CRL Rights Commission.  Three people were killed in the stampede and nine others seriously injured.

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) is demanding that the church closes.

Bushiri says the stampede was caused by people rushing into the halls due to stormy weather. He has also apologised to South Africans for the fatal incident.

“The main focus hall was already full. So some people were waiting outside knowing that there would be more halls eventually as overflows. So these are the people that when the storm started, they had no choice but to go into the other halls due to the storm. Normally I start the services at 10PM, and the incident happened around 5/6,” says Bushiri.

Click link for live coverage: