City official signed Bushiri church event



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An official from the town of Tshwane admitted having signed a certificate of safety compliance for an event at the church of the prophet Shepherd Bushiri in Pretoria only a few days
after three women died in a stampede at the church, but said he did not know of the tragedy.

Lindiwe Lesole, co-chair of the joint operations committee in the city, was summoned yesterday to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

The audience followed the appeals of a civic organization so that the church of Bushiri was closed after the stampede.

Lesole was identified as the official who provided the Bushiri church with a second certificate of compliance for an event on New Year's Eve, a few days after the death of the three congregants.

"Nobody told me that something terrible had happened. I was only informed on the 29th [of December] that there were people who were injured, "Lesole told the commission.

She said she was working closely with a police colonel who did not mention that people died on December 28. She said her office did not know why they were on special leave.

Asked why the city allowed the event on December 28, if she was on special leave, Lesole said that "we were all focused on the event on the 31st."

CRL chairman Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the city clearly broke the law by allowing the December 28 event to happen because they were not present.

"You broke the law so you go on vacation because the law says you have to be there on the day of the event," she said. "The city decides to close for two days and during the two days of fun three women died and 19 were injured."

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