'Divine intervention' may have saved Joburg robbery victim, say police
God and The Bible may have helped save the victim of a robbery in the Johannesburg CBD, police said on Thursday.
The man was on his way home from church on Wednesday evening when two men confronted and choked him.
“One of them choked him, while his accomplice threatened him with a knife and took his tablet. They threw away his Bible and a diary. The police came to his rescue and apprehended one suspect,” police said in a statement, adding that the tablet and the knife had been recovered.
The 23-year-old suspect is scheduled to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Police spokesperson Captain Xoli Mbele explained: “The police were right there when the suspects were robbing him. If you believe in The Bible, you can trust that God was there for that victim.”
Mbele said the police had introduced a divine intervention programme in 2018, joining hands in prayer with church-goers and pastors.
“It’s now a project that all the police stations are doing, praying so that crime can decrease… [We] try to pray and ask God to come and intervene... and also to pray for the suspects,” said Mbele.
“Through prayer, I’ve seen many obstacles being overcome and some of the crimes will be solved.”
Sunnyside police in Pretoria teamed up with local clergymen on February 5 as part of their divine intervention programme. They prayed for 100 destitute people at St Michael’s Anglican Church, where they buttered bread for them and served tea.
“The heightening of the partnership between the Sunnyside police and the local churches comes as a result of an acknowledgement that some of the root causes of lawlessness are spiritual in nature and only with the help from the Man [God] above can such acts be reduced or eradicated,” said police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela.
He said among the cases local police dealt with was one in which a man reportedly told police he had murdered his mother after being ordered to do so by an evil spirit.
St Michael’s pastor Katleho Ncaphe said: “Soon we will be leading prayer and cleansing ceremonies at all the known crime hotspots in our area. The devil shall be defeated. Crime must fall.”