Gauteng police open inquest docket to probe death of priest

File picture: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo.

File picture: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo.

Published Aug 21, 2023

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Gauteng police have opened an inquest docket following the mysterious death of an African Catholic Church priest.

Forty-nine-year-old Victor Mabuse was found hanging from a tree not far from his church in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria.

According to police spokesperson Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, Mabuse was reported missing on August 17 by his daughter after he did not return home from church. Nevhuhulwi said the details surrounding the priest’s death were still sketchy at this stage and that a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

On Sunday, the SABC reported that Mabuse’s family and the congregation were shocked and saddened by his death.

Relative and senior church member Molefe Mabuse told the public broadcaster that they were still waiting for the police investigation to conclude following the tragic incident.

“We are really shocked. We are dumbfounded. We have got no words to express what happened. Because our child was a very busy community man. And we have suffered a very serious loss. And the circumstances of his death are in the hands of the police. No comments on suspicions. We are waiting for the police. You can see the whole church is here. The parishes are here. It is very shocking. Not only on us, but in the community of the African Catholic Church, Mmakau and Ga-Rankuwa community,” Mabuse said.

Mabuse’s death comes a year after the man convicted of robbing and killing a Roman Catholic Church priest, Father Joseph Hollanders, was sentenced to 30 years in jail in the North West High Court in Mahikeng.

Norman Maseko of Bodibode village near Lichtenburg killed Hollanders in January 2020.

His co-accused, Mongezi Molete, received a three-year jail sentence on a theft charge.

Hollanders was strangled to death after his hands and legs were tied to the couch. Several of his valuables were stolen by both Maseko and Molefe.

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