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Churches That Do Not Prioritise Public Safety Fist Must Go Says the Public

The incident pretty shakes the masses in South Africa in South Africa's Jukskei River on Saturday afternoon, where some church members were swept away by a flash flood during a baptism ceremony.

On Monday, December 2022, eNCA reported that at least 14 people had died after being swept away by floods during a baptism ceremony held by a church at Jukskei River in Johannesburg.

According to eNCA, the congregation consisted of 33 people who attended the baptism when a flash flood swept the area.

TheSocialTalks spoke to some members of the public who expressed their concerns; "I think all churches should register with the government so that they keep track of the churches that have activities that pose a danger to its congregants. Why would they baptize people in a river during the rainy season? That is dangerous," said a citizen who identified himself as Themba.

"Some churches don't put the safety of the congregants first. Cases of people being flashed away by floods have been reported before, but people don't seem to learn. I think it is time we do away with those kinds of churches. It is safer to worship indoors, especially during this rainy season," said another concerned Lady.

"What was a three-month-old doing at a baptism? I am a mother and would have never attended such an event with an infant, especially during this rainy season. That is just being reckless," said a young mother during an interview.

News24 on Wednesday reported that another body had been recovered, totaling fifteen bodies. They also said that the Johannesburg Emergency Medical Service is still looking to retrieve the body of a three-month-old which was also swept away during the baptism ceremony.

One woman, Retabile, from Alexandra, also said, "Authorities need to educate people on the dangers of going to rivers during this time. They should also ban these churches, which disregard people's safety, because what happened is quite a tragedy that should not happen again. People should also learn from this incident and stay away from activities that endanger their lives and the lives of those they have an influence on."

News24 also reported that residents are demanding answers from the pastor who has since gone missing after the tragedy as they are saying he put people's lives in danger and should be responsible for the casualties. The families are devastated and still mourning the death of their loved ones as they prepare to bury them soon.

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