Kidnapped nun’s body found in stream

15
189

Wallet, keys, money, still with body

THE murder of a respected Catholic nun Mary Paule Tacke, 82, who was kidnapped by armed men on Sunday, has left Mthatha residents reeling.

The  body of  well respected Catholic nun Sister Mary Paule Tacke, 82 anhd community builder who was kidnapped and abducted  in Norwood in Mthatha on Sunday afternoon was found  dumped  in the  stream near a bridge near Tyara Village near Nyandeni Greate Place near Libode. Her  body is taken to the forensic pathology unit van. PIcture:LULAMILE  FENI
The body of well respected Catholic nun Sister Mary Paule Tacke, 82 anhd community builder who was kidnapped and abducted in Norwood in Mthatha on Sunday afternoon was found dumped in the stream near a bridge near Tyara Village near Nyandeni Greate Place near Libode. Her body is taken to the forensic pathology unit van. PIcture: LULAMILE FENI

Her body, still in her nun’s habit, was found floating in a stream near Tyara village in Libode about 60km from Mthatha yesterday.

Two men are being sought for the murder.

On Sunday, police launched a massive search hours after Tacke was hijacked shortly after 2pm in Norwood during a visit to one of her projects, a place of safety for children. Mthatha police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said the body was discovered by a passerby on the way to a local clinic in the village.

The Daily Dispatch’s Mthatha Bureau chief Lulamile Feni, who was on his way to cover a different story in Libode, helped identify the body. Feni said: “The passerby alerted the chief of the area, but no one knew who it was.

“Since I was aware that one of my colleagues was working on a story related to her disappearance, I had a hunch it could be the lady who had been abducted.”

Sister Mary Paule Tacke whose body was found floating on a small stream in Tyara village in Libode PICTURE SUPPLIED
Sister Mary Paule Tacke whose body was found floating on a small stream in Tyara village in Libode PICTURE SUPPLIED

Fatyela said sister Tacke was attacked while driving her car on Sunday. “Her car was spotted in town [on Sunday] and a car chase ensued. It was found near Qokolweni village after it overturned, but she was not inside.”

A 9mm pistol and cellphone were found in Tacke’s car by the police.

Fatyela said they were puzzled about the motive as her wallet, money, house keys and drivers’ licence were found in her pockets.

Her body had no visible wounds and they thought she may have been strangled. “A postmortem will reveal how she died,” he said.

Tacke reportedly stayed at the Glen Avent Convent in Ikhwezi Lokusa in Ikhwezi Township just outside the Mthatha city centre.

She was chairwoman of the board of Thembelihle Home in Norwood, which she was visiting at the time of her kidnapping. Staff at the home said children and staff were traumatised by her death.

Ncediwe Ngwane, Tacke’s deputy on the board described her as a people’s person who loved children. “Her greatest interest was the wellbeing of the children.”

Sister Tacke had supported the home since its inception in 1996.

“She was our teacher and mother and gave us support in everything we did.”

Sister Dionys Ngcobo, from the convent, said they were all shocked and sad. “Our hearts are broken.”

Although she had retired, Tacke served on the convent committee that dealt with social welfare and was working closely with several social welfare institutions including Thembelihle Home.

June 16, 2014: Well-respected Catholic nun Sister Mary Paule Tacke, 82, kidnapped and  abducted  in Norwood in Mthatha on Sunday afternoon. Her body was  was found  dumped  in a stream near a bridge close to Tyara Village by Nyandeni Greate Place near Libode. Catholic priest Father  Winfried  Egler takes  pictures at the scene. Picture: LULAMILE FENI
Catholic nun Sister Mary Paule Tacke, 82, kidnapped and abducted in Norwood in Mthatha on Sunday afternoon. Her body was was found dumped in a stream near a bridge close to Tyara Village by Nyandeni Greate Place near Libode. Catholic priest Father Winfried Egler takes pictures at the scene. Picture: LULAMILE FENI

Tacke was a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood. She came from the US in the 1950s and taught at the Catholic missionary school Mariazell in Matatiele where COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota was her pupil.

Lekota told the Dispatch: “I am absolutely devastated. Why would anyone want to attack someone who was contributing to the upliftment of the country?” Tacke had taught him never to judge people based on the colour of their skin. “She was a strong advocate of African education. She taught me we are humans irrespective of our race, colour or background.”

Arrive Alive Eastern Cape spokesman and philanthropist Tshepo Machaea said her death was a huge loss to the people of Mthatha. “Those cowards did not even respect the fact that she was wearing clothes worn by nuns.”

Mthatha Ratepayers’ Association chairman Graeme Alexander said: “She was a frail lady who couldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt someone who has done so much for the community is disgraceful.”

Roman Catholic priest Winfried Egler was shocked. “We don’t know why this happened.”

Tacke had led a simple life and was dedicated to helping vulnerable children and to fighting drug and child abuse.

 

15 COMMENTS

  1. For those of us who knew her well, we used to call Sister Mary Paul “Umqhagi” because of her height and the long neck. I am sure if I would say to my ex-Ikhwezi Lokusa school mates that Umqhagi is no more they would know exactly who I am referring to, that’s how popular she was. We will all miss you

    • @ Lwandiso am also an ex-student from Khwezi ndimazi ngokulunga la Sister yini uMama wabantu ebenothando.I wonder abantwana bazohlala nabani na #RestInPiece Maryy Paul

  2. There can be few more glaring signs of one’s loss of humanity than the callous strangulation of an 82-year-old nun. Let us hope that the perpetrator/s are soon brought to book.

  3. I wish South Africa was a democratic country, maybe we as law abiding citizens could lobby or petition for a referendum to bring back the death penalty before it’s too late.

  4. May God give comfort and peace to those who love Sr. Mary Paule. May she enjoy the fullness of life and bless us. Thank you Sister.

  5. May these bunch of low-life scumbags get their day soon.

    Hopefully they ended up dying a violent death so they dont end up as a burden to taxpayers in jail. They deserve it after a senseless killing of a 82 year lady!

    These animals are killing the soul of this country while the ANC turn a blind eye.

  6. Sister Mary Paule,

    We all loved you so much! You were our role model, our inspiration, our hope for the future! You are missed and will long be remembered. I cherish all the times that you took care of me when you were a teenager, and then, those special times we were able to spend with you at your home in Africa! The people of the Transkei in South Africa have suffered the loss of a tremendous, empathetic leader and a wonderful, wonderful human being!

    Dave Reed, Carmichael, California, USA

  7. Through many turbulent years you were the saintly soul of Umtata – we all love you and will miss your gentle presence in our lives. Ezulwini sobonana futhi – in heaven we shall meet again.

  8. To the Precious Blood Sisters
    I never knew Sr Mary Paule but through my sisters Judy and Pat, her past learners I came to know her. They shared stories about M’zell when they came home for holidays and how Sr Mary Paule was teacher and mother to them. She lived what she preached – Jesus’good news. We thank God for her life and especially for her family that gave her as gift to serve God in our part of the world. We pray that her death may not be in vain that young women will be inspired to follow her footsteps and dedicate their lives in God’s service. May her dear soul rest in peace – well done good and faithful servant!

  9. Rest in Eternal Peace Sister Mary Paule “Nomlwatyu” Tacke as we affectionately called you at Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School for Children with Physical Disabilities. The values you taught us of selfless dedication and service to God and self – reliance will be forever etched in our hearts. As Yahweh, the God of Israel decreed to his faithful servant Moses, and restated by Christ Himself, thus: Love the Lord your Godwith all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbour as you love yourself”…this has been a perfect summary of your well lived life. As for the orphans of Thembelihle Children’s Home, don’t fret God will provide…Hamba kakuhle Ntombendala, enter into the joy of your Master, till we meet again by the River of Life that flows from the throne of God, the Father.

  10. Rest in peace Sister Mary Paule. I met you at the most turbulent time of my life and you lit my path with your wisdom and guidance. You have left us but your light still shines in my path as in so many others. I salute you ,you surely was a Saint.

  11. She was a mother,grandmother and mentor to all, she Always wanted
    to see best in us, education was the main key for her
    may her soul rest in peace…. You will alwaz be in our hearts

  12. I did n’t even knw her that much…i knew her through my younger brother Avela who’s currently a student at Ikhwezi Lokusa as well as my mom who was once an SGB member there…everytime my mom was coming from a meeting, she used to tell us about Sr Mary Paule’s kindness…..’isitya esihle asidleli’…what a loss!..May Her humbLe sOul RIP indeed…Yhiini inkohlakalo engaka mz’ontsundu…masibuyeleni kuThixo…Phumla ngoxolo Sister Mary Paule. I respect You!

Have your say