St Mary's Cathedral has been broken into and vandalised. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
St Mary's Cathedral has been broken into and vandalised. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

St Mary's Cathedral in Cape Town desecrated by thieves during robbery

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Apr 20, 2020

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Cape Town - Opportunistic criminals have targeted the St Mary’s Cathedral in central Cape Town.

Criminals burgled the church on Friday leaving, it in a shambles, and took off with valuable worship equipment that could cost R100 000 to replace.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “According to reports, the church was closed as per Covid-19 regulations. The complainant received a call from the caretaker that a side window was broken and the church had been broken into, and reported the case to Cape Town Central Police on Sunday.”

Van Wyk said the church had not yet supplied a list of stolen property.

Father Rohan Smuts said the criminals had desecrated the church.

“They broke the tabernacle door and managed to rip it off its hinges. They stole the ciborium and chalice - this is most of the equipment we use for worship.”

Opportunistic criminals have targeted the St Mary’s Cathedral in central Cape Town. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Father Smuts said they even stole a candelabra that dated back to the 18th century. “It was really heartbreaking (the robbery) and we estimate that the damages and replacement could cost R100 000. They are not cheap, the cross and the candelabra are from the same period, and these are priceless.”

Smuts said the lockdown had placed churches in a very difficult predicament.

“There is no one at the church, and one can see they were after things that can be sold. They even tried to steal our televisions. We are all devastated and heartbroken. This is the second break-in at the church.”

Many churches have decided to close their doors due to the lockdown and part of the regulations which barr gatherings.

* Anyone with information about the break-in can contact Detective Aby Draai at 083 530 9874.

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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