Three monks killed at church in Cullinan


A 35-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of three Egyptian Coptic Orthodox monks.

According to col. Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, police spokesperson, Hegumen Takla El-Samuely, Yostos Ava Markos and Mina Ava Markos were found with stab wounds at a church in Cullinan on Tuesday.

“A fourth victim who survived the attack claims that he was hit by an iron bar on his hand before he managed to flee and hide in one of the rooms.

“The suspect apparently fled the scene without stealing anything and the motive for the murder is still unclear,” says Nevhuhulwi.

He is expected to appear in Cullinan Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa expressed its “sorrow over the tragic incident” in a post on Facebook.

“It is extremely sad to hear that three of our beloved monks have been killed. May the Lord fight for us,” the post reads.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it will closely monitor the investigations into the murder of the three monks together with the country’s embassy in Pretoria. He also expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

The Egyptian ambassador says he hopes the investigation will uncover the circumstances of the incident and the identity of the perpetrator(s) so that they will be held accountable.

According to the church’s website, the Coptic Orthodox community in South Africa consists of about 4,500 families.