The City of Ekurhuleni has launched an investigation into the death of a three-year-old girl and the alleged assault of a paramedic at the Incredible Happenings church in Katlehong on December 24, the municipality said on Monday.
Controversial Pastor Paseka "Mboro" Motsoeneng is accused of assaulting one of the paramedics after they arrived at the Incredible Happenings church, where he had been "praying" for the child.
He blames paramedics for the child's death, saying they refused to enter the church, while paramedics maintained they first wanted to do a preliminary treatment at the scene.
In a statement, Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services spokesperson William Ntladi said the City "views this matter seriously" and is working with law enforcement in unravelling it.
Ntladi urged community members to "be calm" while waiting for investigations to be completed.
"During this time of activism against gender-based violence and new year celebrations, the city would like to urge everyone to calm down and allow the law to take its course."
In an affidavit on Wednesday, three-year-old Latoya's mother Nontombi Gwam, 42, explained that she initially took her daughter to a clinic, where she failed to find help.
Her daughter was then taken to a doctor where a drip was administered and the doctor assured her that her daughter would be fine.
However, when she woke up the next day, Latoya's condition had deteriorated.
Gwam said she then went to Motsoeneng for help, asking the pastor to pray for her child and call an ambulance.
On Wednesday, the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) sharply criticised Motsoeneng, saying churches should not be considered hospitals.
But Motsoeneng defended himself, saying people need "both prayer and medication if they so require".
He denies assaulting a female paramedic when they arrived at the church.
In the statement, Ntladi said the City's MMC for Community Safety Department, Vivian Chauke, and the local ward councillor have visited Gwam's family regularly to help with all relevant logistics building towards a decent funeral for the little girl.
"City of Ekurhuleni [sends] its sincere deepest condolence to the family of Gwam after losing one of their own," he said.
"For the injured paramedic and Mrs Gwam, we wish them good health and speedy recovery because of this unforeseen tragic incident."