Priest murdered on the doorsteps of his rectory outside of Durban

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An Anglican priest was shot to death last week outside of his home near Durban. The Vicar-General of the Diocese of Natal, the Very Rev. Ndabezinhle Sibisi, reports the Rev. Sandiso Sithole (41), Rector of St John’s Parish in Hambanathi was murdered outside his home at approximately 8:00 pm.

The KwaZulu Natal police have opened a murder investigation. Reports from the crime scene indicate the priest was murdered as he was opening the front door of the rectory, situated next to the parish church.

An ambulance responded to the shooting and found the victim with a single gunshot wound to the head. He died shortly thereafter.

The murder of Mr. Sibisi comes less than a month after the apparent suicide of his wife, Nomthandazo Cynthia Sithole (41). A teacher at Qinisweni Primary School in Inanda, Mrs. Sibisi was found dead in her car on 10 June 2020 on a farm in Eshowe. The engine was still running when the body was found with a hose attached to the tailpipe that fed the exhaust into the car interior. An inquest on her death is pending and the incident is under investigation by the Eshowe police.

Dean Sibisi told reporters the priest’s death had left him and the diocese in shock. “Funeral details are to follow. Please pray for the Sithole family and the wider Diocesan family during this sad and difficult time,” Sibisi said.