WATCH | 'I could feel the cement spatter around me': Centurion church members relive horror service

28 July 2020 - 07:00 By EMILE BOSCH

Celebration turned to chaos as the Sunday service at Querencia ministries in Centurion turned into a shoot-out that left two dead.

Rochelle Roets was seated next to the church door as three armed men entered the building.

I stood next to the door where they came in. The door was closed. When the door opened, the first thing I saw was a pistol being pointed at me and the person motioning for me to get down. I immediately sank to my knees, put my hands in the air and started praying,” she said.

Roets believes her faith saved her. “I turned around and saw that five rounds had missed me — two above my head and there were three holes in the wall to my left side,” she said.

The armed men repeatedly pistol-whipped pastor Kobus Erasmus, before forcibly taking valuables away from members of the congregation.

The robbery was halted as Pieter van der Westhuizen, brother of late Springbok legend Joost, allegedly shot and killed two of the armed men.

The congregation has hailed Van der Westhuizen as a hero.

“Nobody told him to be the hero. He stood up at a moment when it was necessary. The people shot at him, they shot at us. A young boy was hurt as the shrapnel flew past him. The rest were shocked,” said Erasmus.

At time of publication, Van der Westhuizen's legal team said he has not been charged but is co-operating with police.

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