- The Bushiri-led ECG Church and the South African National Civic Organization have agreed to a mediation process facilitated by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights
- This came after SANCO criticized ECG for its handling of a recent stampede that took place at the church
- The incident left 9 people injured and 3 dead
The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church and the South African National Civic Organization (SANCO) have agreed to a come to the negotiating table. The mediation process was facilitated by Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights (CLR).
The church, led by Shepherd Bushiri, had come under fire from SANCO after a stampede took place at the church's Pretoria Showgrounds premises on 28 December. The incident left nine people injured and three women dead.
The SAPS also laid a charge against the church for failing to report the deaths.
After extensive deliberation, both ECG and SANCO agreed to a ceasefire. The parties have said that they will soon hold a joint press briefing. In the interim, the CLR Commission will facilitate negotiations between the parties and "pursue negotiations with the church for possible support for the bereaved families," according to spokesman Mpiyakhe Mkholo.
A spokesperson for Prophet Bushiri also expressed regret for the deaths and pledged a commitment to the mediation process.
However, Cosa, the Christians of South Africa, slammed SANCO for criticizing ECG, calling the group "agents of satan".
"These misguided attacks against the church by Sanco is evidence enough to prove that faith in South Africa is under attack and Christians should prepare themselves for a volcano of persecution, perpetuated by the ANC government," Cosa president Pastor Derick Mosoana said.
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