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Roman Catholic Church honours the Servant of God

By Elvis Tshikhudo

The Roman Catholic Church in South Africa, Vatican in Italy and the world celebrated the Beatification of Mrtyr Daswa. A massive function was attended by about 30000 Christians and community members from all over who came to honour the oldest son in family of five children, the servant of God Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa who was born on June 16, 1946,in the village of Mbahe in Limpopo under the leadership of Vhothovhele Gole Mphaphuli near Thohoyandou.

Tshimangadzo Samuel Daswa was baptised on April 21, 1963, by Father Augustine O’Brien, MSC, he was given a Saint name “Benedict”. On July 21 of the same year was confirmed. After his primary and secondary education, in 1973 he received his Junior Primary Teacher diploma and began teaching in Tshilivho Primary School at Ha-Dumasi. In 1994,he married Shadi Eveline Munyai, a member of the Lutheran Church, in a traditional ceremony.


On 1 January 1979, the Servant of God was appointed Principal of Nweli Primary School at Nweli village. The spirituals journey of the Servant of God became easy because of his meeting with the Irish missionary Fr. Patrick O’Connor, MSC, who helped him make progress on the road of Christian fidelity.

Tshimangadzo Daswa was very involved in both Church and community activities. On 25 1990, lightning from a powerful thunderstorm caused a number of houses in village to be destroyed by fire. For the people this was not something’s natural. The decision was taken to consult which doctor from a nearby village to find out more about the cause. To do this, each member of village had to pay R5.00, and Benedict was absent on that time.

When he arrived at the Headman’s council he stated that thunder and lightning are natural phenomena but his explanation was not accepted. The decision to consult a which doctor stood. For the people it was very clear that Benedict refused to pay the required contribution because he claimed that his Catholic faith did not permit him to take part in anything related to witchcraft. Upset by this attitude, a group of men decided to get rid of him. They organized a plot against him and on the evening of 2 February 1990 he was bludgeoned to death in the village of Mbahe. While his executioners were killing him, Benedict was on his knees praying. He prayed until the last minute of his life.

Pope Francis of the Vatican City describes Benedict Daswa in his Apostolic Letter to the beatification ceremony, which was read by Cardinal Angelo Amato. “Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa a layman, father of a family, diligent Catechist, caring teacher, a witness of the Gospel even to the point of shedding his blood from now on he will be called Blessed, and his feast will be celebrated every year on the first of February according to the manner and in the places determined by law.”

The Deputy President of the Country, Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa said that there should be No attacks of people from other counties. Let’s not take drastic decisions we need to discuss. We are human beings we must respect humanity and other people. Let say NO to ritual killings, but Daswa’s life was cut short. We must get rid of violence “Zwau vhulahana khazwi fhele sa izswi ritshi khou tshila kha tshifhinga tshiswa tshine tsha toda nyambedzano.  Arali rina thaidzo rina Mahosi khari dzule fhasi navho ri tandulule thaidzo sa vhavhusi vhashu.” Let us commit ourselves a new to a better life for all South Africans and for all the people of this world.