Robbers kill church minister

A well-known East London church minister died after being stabbed near Water World at the notorious Leaches Bay.

Presbyterian Church Reverend Clifford Leeuw was stabbed multiple times after being robbed of a cellphone and cash by two unknown men on Tuesday afternoon.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mtati Tana said the motive for the stabbing was robbery. No arrests have been made as yet.

Police said after being repeatedly stabbed, the 60-year-old church minister attempted to drive himself to safety.

Leeuw managed to drive 2km to nearby Cove Rock, where he told a passersby what had happened.

He lost consciousness and later died on the scene.

Tana said various police units were sent to search for the culprits, but to no avail.

Chairman of the East London Ministers’ Fraternal, the Reverend Clinton Petersen, expressed shock at Leeuw’s murder.

“He was part of our community. It is just shocking to comprehend and think about the whole ordeal,” Petersen said.

A former member of St George’s Presbyterian Church in Oxford Street, Patrick Levey, said: “Leeuw was appointed as the new minister in 2003. He most recently supervised the building of the wall around the church and the building of the wall of remembrance at the back garden of the church.”

Paying tribute to the late minister, Levey described Leeuw as “the most joyful person ever”.

“He brought people sunshine and hope.”

DA leader in the Buffalo City Metro Kevin Mileham in a statement yesterday sent his heartfelt condolences to Leeuw’s family and friends.

“Reverend Leeuw was a stalwart fighter for the rights of all South Africans and someone who did everything in his power to ensure that our people were represented by the best public representatives, who only have the interests of all South Africans at heart.

“He had unsurpassed dedication to his community, the church he served and anyone who ever required his wisdom, guidance or advice,” said Mileham.

In 2005 Leeuw, a member of the Eastern Cape South African Council of Churches, met with then deputy president of the ANC Jacob Zuma in East London during a two-day imbizo aimed at getting opinions on government’s failures and successes from citizens.

Mileham said that sadly the incident at Leaches Bay was not unusual.

“The area is a notorious crime hotspot. The DA renews its call on the Buffalo City Municipality and the SAPS to increase security and crime prevention measures to address the many challenges facing this part of the city, to prevent further senseless and needless tragedies,” he said.

Nine people, including three members of the SAPS, were robbed and stabbed in the area between July and August.

Tana said anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact detectives at the Fleet Street police station on 043-707-0600.

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