Murdered priest – police praised for arrests

| December 9, 2009

The South African Council of Churches said it was pleased with the swift arrest on Wednesday of a group of youngsters accused of murdering Father Louis Blondel, a Roman Catholic priest in Diepsloot.

He was murdered when a group of people broke through burglar bars and shot him dead.

"We are overjoyed by the rapid response of the men and women in blue," said Eddie Makue, SACC general secretary. "We salute them for acting speedily and decisively in apprehending the criminals responsible for the burglary."

SACC president Tinyiko Maluleke extended condolences to the Blondel family and to the church.

"It's painful enough to lose a person to death," he said. "When the death is as violent and pointless as that of Father Blondel, the grief is even deeper.

"The fact that he was commissioned by the Catholic Church to provide pastoral and development services to this destitute community is a noble act.

"For a person offering services to a community to be killed by members of that same community is deplorable."

He called on people to support the police in "ending this mayhem".

Five teenagers have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Another priest, Father Guido Bourgeois, who lived in the house with Blondel, was the first to wake up during the robbery in which his cellphone and R50 were stolen.

Blondel was shot when he opened his bedroom door.

Bourgeois was able to run to the kitchen where he blocked the door with the fridge and screamed to wake the neighbours.

However, those who came to their rescue were forced to retreat when there was more shooting.

A woman in the area was arrested for buying Bourgeois's stolen cellphone. – Sapa

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Category: Church Security

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