SOUTH AFRICA-Drugs found at Maimane’s church
THE church at which DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane preaches was raided for drugs by Roodepoort police on Friday.
The politician moonlights as a pastor at Liberty Church.
Roodepoort police spokeswoman Nonhlanhla Khumalo said a packet of cat (tik) was found abandoned on the church premises.
“We ran an operation at the church until the early hours of the morning. No case has been opened because the drugs were not found on anyone, meaning there is no suspect. The drugs have been confiscated as an exhibit,” she said.
The raid was conducted during a youth service at the church after they got permission from the church to raid the premises.
However, church members complained that the police harassed them and touched them inappropriately. A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said parents complained to the church and have decided to lay charges with the police as a class action. “The parents do not complain that there was a raid, it is about the way it was conducted,” said the source.
“Some of the kids complained that they were sexually harassed and some say they were manhandled by the police. Pastor Maimane was not there and it was just the youth,” added the insider .
According to another source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, there were four police officers present and about 30 community members, which could not be verified.
The church leaders and the parents met on Sunday to discuss a way forward.
The initial whistle-blower said that a female member blurted out during a gathering on Sunday that she was “unhappy that he does not stand up for the kids but stands up for the DA in parliament”.
The two independent sources corroborated that “male police officers searched females as well and there was chaos during the raid”.
The DA parliamentary leader is understood to be flying into Johannesburg every weekend for the Sunday morning services and flies back to Cape Town on Sunday afternoons.
Maimane confirmed they wanted the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to investigate the raid.
“We have communicated to the captain [of the police station] that the raid be investigated. So that is where the matter sits at the moment, it will face its own judicial process,” Maimane said.
“Of course, there was a raid. Even after all that raid, we are trying to fight the issue of drugs in the community. Obviously, the issue here centrally is to say, if the police acted in an illegal manner, that investigation must take place.”