Flemish priest murdered in South Africa

The Flemish priest Joseph Hollanders was found dead at his home in South Africa on Sunday. Hollanders was 83 and had worked as a missionary for over half a century.

 

It’s believed the priest was attacked after Sunday mass.  He is thought to have been the victim of a robbery that went wrong.  Hollanders was working in the village of Bodibe, outside Lichtenburg, in north western South Africa.  There has been a spate of burglaries and muggings in the area in recent months.  The priest had taken measures to increase his security, but not on this fateful Sunday.

The priest is thought to have died as a result of strangulation, though a heart attack is also possible.  Despite his age Hollanders was still an active member of the local community and he had been back home in Flanders only last summer.  “He was the only white in Bodibe and a well-liked local figure” says church official Daniël Coryn.