Police Minister Bheki Cele has assured Leonard Modise, the son of the late Glayton Modise of the International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) that there will be an improved working relationship between the police and the church.

Cele met with the church leadership on Sunday after five people were shot dead and their bodies set alight at the church’s headquarters in Zuurbekom southwest of Johannesburg in a siege that lasted for hours on Saturday morning. More than 30 people were arrested, among them members of law enforcement agencies who are members of the church and 25 firearms seized.

The church has been in leadership battle since 2016 following the passing of Glayton Modise, the son of the church Founder Frederick Modise.

The church has split into three factions, between Glayton Modise’s two sons Leonard and Tshepiso, and Michael Sandlana who’s reported to be Modise’s son out of wedlock, to take over the reins of the church.

“Sunday’s meeting has somewhat established better communication lines between the church and the SAPS. And it has resolved to maintain this continuously. While the minister has assured Leonard Modise, the son of Glayton Modise that there will be improved relations between the police and the church, he has however emphasized that the police will not take sides in this matter, but will be guided by the law to prevent any further bloodshed,” says Lirhandzu Themba, Cele’s Spokesperon.

The video below shows the International Pentecostal Holiness Church after an attack