The Beatification of Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa Bakali on the 13th of September 2015 was not only a big day for Catholics in South Africa only but also for the region and the rest of the world.
Daswa was brutally murdered on 2 February 1990 for his Catholic beliefs. He was 43 years old at the time of his murder and was a father of eight children. Daswa was a catechist and a school principal who became a Catholic at the age of 17 years. He helped to build the first church in his area.
A few months before his death, Daswa had refused to contribute R5 towards an investigation by a diviner to sniff out a witch or the person responsible for causing extreme weather and lightning which resulted in loss of lives. This was at the instruction of the community elders. He justified his refusal by saying that what was happening was a natural phenomenon and believing in witchcraft was against his beliefs as a Catholic.
A violent mob was to attack him, smashing his skull with a club and pouring boiling water down his nostrils and ears to ensure that he was dead. It is said that his last words were; “God, in your hands receive my spirit”.