SENWABARWANA: The Senwabarwana Regional court has on Friday sentenced the founder and leader of In His Presence Ministries Church, Pastor Walter Mashalane to five years imprisonment.
The 46-year-old was arrested for theft of firearms, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
The trial court found that accused approached one of his congregants and requested that she brings two firearms which were belonging to her husband with the intention of praying for them because he said he had a negative premonition about them in 2019.
The woman complied and handed the two firearms to Pastor Mashalane without the knowledge of the lawful owner. Afterwards, the lawful owner approached the Pastor and asked him to hand them back but he refused.
A case of theft of firearms was subsequently opened and was later transferred to the Provincial Detectives for investigation.
The case was assigned to Sergeant Mashitisho for further investigations. Assisted by members of the Provincial Tracking Team, the Pastor was apprehended on 10 September 2019 at Mokhuromela village.
During the arrest, police found one firearm with ammunition concealed inside a ceiling after a thorough probe in the house. The other firearm was never recovered. The accused was later granted a free bail with a warning until his five-year imprisonment on the said day and also declared to unfit to possess a firearm.