Two gunmen were shot dead on Sunday by Pieter van der Westhuizen, the brother of South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen as they tried to rob a congregation during a church service yesterday.
Three robbers stormed the Querencia Ministries church in Wierda Park, Centurion, South Africa, on Sunday and proceeded to try and rob members of the congregation at gunpoint.
According to Netwerk24, two of the robbers were then killed by Pieter van der Westhuizen who was among the congregation. The third robber was wounded but managed to escape using the car they came with.
According to Ruan Heyns of the Community Emergency Response Team, the pastor of the church, Kobus Erasmus and other worshippers were pushed around and pistol-whipped by the men.
According to Ruan, at one point one of the robbers reportedly held a pistol to Erasmus’ head.
The shooter, Van der Westhuizen – a former police officer himself, is co-operating with the police investigation and his lawyer Ulrich Roux has said his client acted in self-defence when he used the weapon to shoot the attackers.
The shooter’s older brother, Joost van der Westhuizen, made 89 appearances in test matches for the national team, scoring 38 tries and participated in three Rugby World Cups. He died in 2017 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.