Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Father Sham knew us" - (the) accused

Tango has sent me the following:
(The accused has been denied bail after yesterday's court appearance)

31st March 2009
(Reported in the Sowetan newspaper today by Bafana Mahlangu)

Related content:
A humble, selfless priest
Protesters say Father Sham cared for his alleged murderer
Youth held over murder of priest

Father Lionel Sham was hit with a knife in the head, tied him up and his face wrapped in tape.

This blood-curling description is contained in a confession made by Philip Velaphi Malgas, 25, charged with Father Sham's murder. The priest went missing from his Mohlakeng home on Friday March 7.

Malgas appeared in the Randfontein magistrate's court yesterday and was denied bail.

Members of the Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church in Mohlakeng on the West Rand broke down in tears when the confession was read out.

Malgas's 20year-old friend was killed in an accident in Deneysville in the Free State. The two were travelling in Father Sham's car, a maroon Toyota Corolla that they are charged with stealing from his home.

The two men are also accused of having stolen a TV set, a DVD player, laptop and computer hard-drive. When caretakers went to Father Sham's home on March 8 they discovered a bedrooom covered in bloodstains.

In his confession Malgas said: "We knocked on his door and he opened for us because he knew us. We hit him with a knife in the head and he bled. We then tied his hands with tape and wrapped it around his mouth and nose.

"We drove to Denysville and my accomplice was the driver and we had an accident. There was another person in the car whom we had given a lift. He was also going to Deneysville."

The court also heard that police had been on the lookout for the missing car. Malagas was found a walking distance from the accident scene and had R(ands)1000 on him.

It has also been confirmed that the fingerprints found in Sham's car matched those of Malgas.

The case was postponed to April 24 for trial.

Source - www.sowetan.co.za



Tango said...

A report in todays newspaper.South Africa

Virginia Keppler
Pretoria - Father Louis Blondel, 70, a French priest of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, was shot dead in his room on Monday at about 02:00 when child robbers gained access to the rectory.

Blondel is the fourth Catholic priest to be murdered in South Africa this year.

He was shot through his left shoulder, with the bullet exiting his back. The children had opened the door for the robber.

Blondel had been a member of the Missionaries of Africa, whose stated mission is serving the people of Africa. He's been in South Africa since 1987 and has lived in Diepsloot since August last year.

Before moving there, he worked in Tanzania, Soweto and Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria. Father Guido Bourgeois, 70, who saw Blondel being shot, said three teenagers entered the house through a window at approximately 02:00.

"They came into my room and woke me. I started to scream but they told me to 'shut up'. One of them was pointing something in my direction, but I couldn't see if it was a firearm," said Bourgeois.

Looked for money

The children asked for money, upon which he gave them a R50 note he had in his wallet.

"One of them removed a painting from the wall to see if there's a safe behind it. The other opened cupboards and said they're looking for money."

According to Bourgeois, the teenagers asked for keys to the house. They followed him to the front door, where they forced him to unlock it.

"When I unlocked the door, a big, tall man of about 35 years was standing in front of me."

Bourgeois said the robbers then forced him back into the house and wanted to know how many people there were in the house. He said there were three.

The other resident is a man who had been staying there for a few months, since he had no other place to stay.

'What's going on?'

The robbers took Bourgeois to Blondel's room.

"Suddenly Louis opened his door and yelled 'What's going on', and then they shot him.

"I ran to the kitchen and pushed the fridge against the kitchen door. Then I went to the window and screamed for help."

Within two minutes, between 30 and 40 people had rushed to the house to help.

The robbers shot at them as well, before fleeing.

Bed covered with blood

"Somebody called out to me, 'Father, you can come out, they're gone.' I ran to Louis immediately and found him lying face-down on his bed.

"The whole bed was covered with blood and there was a hole in his back where the bullet had come out."

Bourgeois, who's been hijacked five times in Orange Farm, said "one gets used to this kind of evil".

He said he will never leave the country.

"I've learned to live with death," said the Canadian, who's been living in South Africa since 1980.

"What must happen, will happen. The Lord did only good, and he was murdered," said Bourgeois.

- Beeld

Tango said...

Newspaper report :South Africa
Priest shot dead in Diepsloot
December 07 2009
A Catholic priest was shot dead in a presbytery in Diesploot, north of Johannesburg, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said on Monday.

In a statement, the institution said Father Louis Blondel, 70, was shot sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

"Four people had allegedly broken into Presbytery. Three of them were boys who got in through a window, which they had forced open, while an older man waited outside."

Another priest, Father Guido Bourgeois who lived in the house with Blondel, was the first to wake up and was robbed of R50 and his cellphone.

Blondel had 'big plans' for the area
The intruders then shot Blondel when he opened his bedroom door.

Bourgeois was able to run to the kitchen where he blocked the door with the fridge and screamed to wake the neighbours.
Continues Below

"Some neighbours came out but were forced back inside as there was more shooting," the conference said.

After the intruders fled, Bourgeois discovered Blondel lying dead in his room.

The police arrived quickly as did Father Sean O'Leary, the superior of the Missionaries of Africa in South Africa.

Blondel was a member of the Missionaries of Africa, a society of Catholic missionaries dedicated to serving the people of Africa.

He was born in the north of France and spent the early years of his missionary life in Tanzania.

In 1987 he moved to South Africa and began to work in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.

He took up residence in Zondi Parish in Soweto and also taught philosophy at St Peter's Seminary in Hammanskraal.

Six years later he took a keen interest in the development of the Orange Farm area.

"In this he was a true pioneer. He found the first plot, built a community house, a church and a trade school. Over the years he built another eight outstations.

"Along with the buildings was the establishment of vibrant communities that have expanded over the years. In 2008 ago he moved to Diepsloot in the Archdiocese of Pretoria where had he built a church and community house."

According to O'Leary, Blondel had "big plans" for the area.

"Alas, these plans were not to be. Louis returns to his maker as a true pioneering missionary who dedicated all his life to the poorest of the poor. He remains one of our unsung heroes," said O'Leary.

Blondel is the fourth Catholic priest to be murdered in South Africa this year.

His funeral will be held on Saturday in Diepsloot.

"We ask for your prayers for Father Louis, his family and confreres and the many communities whose life he touched," said the statement. - Sapa