Blessed Benedict Daswa – South Africa’s First Martyr
Hugh Slattery MSC
11 x 17cm
Benedict Daswa was born on 16th June 1946 in the small village of Mbahe Thohoyandou, the captial of the old Venda “Homeland” in the Province of Limpopo (South Africa). He was baptised and received into the Catholic Church on 21 April 1063 at the age of 17years. From his marriage to Shadi Eveline Monyai, eight children were born, one of them after his death.
A teacher and school principal, Daswa is described as a highly skilled educator and an exemplary husband and father, who was involved in the parish community as a catechist, liturgical animator, promoter of works of charity, and a builder of justice and peace.
Benedict is a matyr who gave his life in defence of his faith on 2 February 1990. He was killed because of his principled opposition to the practise of witchcraft.
A striking element in Benedict Daswa’s life, is the part played by his wife and family. They are blessed not only by having the head of their family declared a Blessed; but also by the grace which God gave them to make Benedict not only a good man, but also a Saint.