The brother of the late Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen, Pieter, came to rescue on Sunday morning, 26 July, after he reportedly shot two armed men who were involved in a church robbery in Wierdapark, Centurion.
The two were confirmed to have died on the scene, according to Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
Van der Westhuizen's attorney, Ulrich Roux, told Netwerk4 that his client, a former police officer, acted in self-defence when he took out his weapon and shot the two attackers.
One of them was reportedly holding a pistol to the congregation's Pastor Kobus Erasmus' head. A 15-year-old boy was also reportedly grazed by a bullet.
Van der Westhuizen is cooperating with the police investigation.
Pieter Van der Westhuizen. Image: Supplied.
According to Monitor Net spokesperson JP le Roux, three armed men entered the Querencia Ministries church in Escort Avenue.
"The men proceeded to hold the congregants inside at gunpoint.
"One of the congregants, who was also armed, proceeded to shoot at the men. Two of the men were killed while the third was injured.
"The injured man fled the scene in a white vehicle of unknown make."
Le Roux said Monitor Net, Copwatch, Scorpion, Netcare 911, and CERT-SA were called to the scene.
"Paramedics tried to resuscitate one of the men, but were unable to save him. The pastor sustained an injury from being hit in his head, but none of the congregants were injured."
Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters confirmed the incident.
"Officers attending the scene recovered one firearm," Peters said.
This article first appeared on Vaalweekblad and was republished with permission.
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