14 September 2015
South Africans were reminded to commit themselves to a better life for all through ending violence by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was speaking at the beatification ceremony of Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa yesterday.
The beatification moved Daswa one step closer to sainthood.
“A better life for all of us means that we should not be attacking those who we do not agree with,” Ramaphosa said at the ceremony, which was held by the Roman Catholic Church in Tshitanini, in Limpopo.
Daswa, a 43-year-old school teacher, was killed on 2 February 1990, following his refusal to join a search for the “witch” who had caused lightening that burnt down several huts. He said the lightning strike was caused by the weather and was not an act of magic.
Driving home one evening, he had to get out the car to move stones and logs that were blocking the road. He was attacked. “While his executioners were killing him, Benedict was on his knees praying,” a Catholic priest said during the beatification ceremony.
At the ceremony, Daswa was named South Africa’s first home-grown martyr.
The news agency South African Broadcasting Corporation reported Ramaphosa said it was the first time in the history of the Catholic Church of Southern Africa that a South African was recognised as a Blessed Martyr of Christ. “This should be a day on which we set out to replicate the mission and passion of Benedict Daswa in the lives of millions of people in our country and on our continent.”