Gauteng churches going cashless due to robberies

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Card Payments and Electronic Fund Transfers could soon replace cash in Gauteng’s churches. This follows resolutions made in Boksburg on Wednesday at a meeting between Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko and Faith-based Organisations following the recent spate of armed robberies targeted at places of worship.

Last month, Pastor Dwayne Gordon lost his life during a church service in Newlands, Johannesburg.

Police launched a manhunt for six suspects who shot and killed the pastor during a church service in Johannesburg. Pastor Dwayne Gordon, who was invited as a guest preacher at Eagles Christian Centre in Newlands was killed and three other congregants injured when a gang of armed men stormed the church and opened fire.

Three breakaway sessions were held during the meeting with the MEC and some recommendations were made.

“All of us we agree that we need to deal with this scourge of crime that is terrorizing the churches. So, I believe all of us we agree on that. And we agree that churches now must move towards what we call cashless,” Mazibuko elaborates.

However, Pastor Emmanuel Mohlala says this alone will not solve the problem.

“Cash is not the only thing that they want. Cellphones, keyboards, amplifiers and those are very expensive equipment that these people are looking for. And cars,” says Mohlala.

Video: Manhunt launched after pastor killed

Mohlala has recommended information sharing among faith-based leaders on crime.

“More awareness to educate churches on new crime trends. So that what we didn’t know, we can learn from each other because not every area suffers the same thing,” Mohlala added.

Some of the recommendations include the call for religious houses to work together with community policing forums as well as for the police and crime wardens to patrol places of worship.

Churches have also been encouraged to subscribe to armed response services, install CCTV cameras and metal detectors. However, some faith leaders such as Sangoma Lawrence Motsepe have expressed their dissatisfaction about the event. Motsepe says it’s biased to churches.

“The way I see it there is favoritism here. They are favoring churches, certain churches that are well established and are seen on TV. Nothing much is said about us who do our rituals or look for medicine in the veld where we risk coming across criminals and Zama Zamas,” says Motsepe.

Video: Churches, residents in shock after Newlands pastor gunned down, others wounded