- The Enlightened Christian Gathering church said it would postpone its first service for the year but did not give a date
- This comes as the church's negotiations with SANCO have still not reached a conclusion
- SANCO led protests against ECG after a stampede at the church left 3 dead
The Bushiri-led Enlightened Christian Gathering church has announced that it will postpone its 'grand opening', the first service of the year which had been scheduled for this past Sunday.
In a message sent to all its congregants, the ECG said that the church would open again at some point in the future but did not specify a date.
This comes after the church was involved in a massive scandal regarding a stampede that took place on its Pretoria showgrounds premises last month. The stampede resulted in several injuries and three deaths.
The bodies were then reportedly moved to a different location and the deaths were not immediately reported.
As a result, police have opened a case of defeating the ends of justice against the ECG church.
In response to the deaths, the South African National Civic Organisation led protests against ECG. Local residents also called for the church to be removed from the showgrounds.
Since then, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities has been facilitating mediation between ECG and SANCO.
SANCO, however, is firm in its position that it would be improper for the church to reopen its doors given the situation. A spokesperson said that the church should not continue as normal while the discussions were still ongoing. SANCO also said that once the negotiations were concluded ECG and SANCO should release a press statement together.
SANCO also reiterated its call for the church's premises to be given back to the local community.
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