Woman, 69, among three church stampede victims

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri is the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church. Three women died and nine others were injured during a stampede at a church service at the Pretoria showgrounds on Friday night.
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri is the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church. Three women died and nine others were injured during a stampede at a church service at the Pretoria showgrounds on Friday night.
Image: Sunday World

Police on Sunday confirmed the identity of the three women killed in a stampede at controversial pastor Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s church in Pretoria last week.

The eldest of the victims was 69-year-old Matshila Sarah Mohlala.

Captain Augustine Selepe said Mohlala was from Soshanguve and had been positively identified by relatives.

The other two victims were 60-year-old Lehlagola Maria Segodi from Lephalale in Limpopo and 59-year-old Nondumiso Patricia Pringane‚ who was from the Western Cape.

“[Pringane was] from Nyanga East in Cape Town.

“She was positively identified by her sister‚” Selepe said.

The three lost their lives when an apparent stampede broke out at Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering Church on December 28 2018.

Following the incident‚ police said they had only learnt of the stampede‚ which also resulted in several injuries‚ the following day.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the community assembled at the show grounds to attend Shepherd Bushiri’s church service at around 8pm at Hall C‚” Selepe said at the time.

“According to them‚ when the rain started‚ the congregation started to push each other and the stampede occurred‚” she said.

A case of defeating the ends of justice was opened relating to the removal of the bodies from the church before the police were notified.

Selepe said that the investigation was at an advanced stage.

Meanwhile‚ protests flared outside Bushiri’s church on Friday and Saturday‚ with locals calling for the church‚ headed by the Malawian-born pastor‚ to be permanently shut down. - TimesLIVE

X