Cape Town - A Catholic priest who arrived in Cape Town a week ago had to undergo reconstructive surgery to his hand after he was stabbed and assaulted in Mfuleni on Saturday night.

Priest Bafana Ndlovu, from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate congregation, had stopped his car at a four-way stop when he was attacked.

Catholic Archbishop Stephen Brislin said two men allegedly tried to hijack the car at about 10pm.

“Bafana and two others arrived in Cape Town from KwaZulu-Natal a week ago. He moved into a house of a priest in Mfuleni on Saturday. Many people came to welcome him and also helped him unpack.”

Brislin said Ndlovu was on his way back to the house, after dropping a church member in the city centre, when his car window was shattered.

“He was at the four-way-stop when two men tried to break the window on the driver’s side. His car stalled at that moment and they managed to break the window.”

One of the perpetrators allegedly tried to stab the priest in the neck, Brislin said. “He tried to protect himself and held up his right hand, which is when he was stabbed.

“They pulled him out of the car and beat him up.”

The suspects fled with the priest’s cellphone, wallet and watch.

“They didn’t take his car.”

When he was able to, Ndlovu climbed back into the car and drove home.

“He had to undergo surgery at the Kuils River Hospital this afternoon (on Sunday). Tendons in his right hand had been damaged.”

Brislin added that “spiritually and psychology” the priest was doing well.

“It affects me deeply when this happens to one of our members.

“People living in Mfuleni experience this all the time. It shows how important the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry is.”

He added that police were often under-resourced.

“This reminds us to work together to combat crime.”

The police were asked to comment but had failed to do so by on Sunday night.

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Cape Argus