Statement given by the South African Bishops Confrence
"Archbishop Tlhagale announces the finding of the body of missing Priest
Monday, 09 March 2009
Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, Catholic Archbishop of Johannesburg, regrets to announce that the South African Police Service (SAPS) have found the Body of Fr Lionel Sham. Fr Sham, Parish Priest of Mohlakeng, had been missing since Friday night. The SAPS has recovered the missing car at an accident scene in Denysville in the Free State this morning. Suspects were apprehended and questioned."
From IOL NEWS
"The body of a priest who had gone missing earlier this week has been found, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said on Sunday.
"Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, Catholic Archbishop of Johannesburg, regrets to announce that the SAPS have found the Body of Fr Lionel Sham.
Sham, the parish priest of Mohlakeng had been missing since Friday afternoon.
Police had recovered his missing car at an accident scene in Denysville in the Free State on Sunday morning.
Captain Joseph Magoai said a man was arrested after Sham's car was recovered.
Magoai said police had been alerted on Saturday that Sham was missing.
"We received information that he was missing and some household items were missing," said Magoai.
SACBC spokesperson Father Chris Townsend said when Sham went missing on Friday, "there were signs of struggle in his presbytery and household and parish items and the parish car are missing."
Townsend said Sham had been a "friend and mentor" to many.
"He had worked at Boys Town, in various parish assignments, as administrator of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Johannesburg, Rector of the Orientation Seminary in Welkom, Secretary of the Seminary Department of the Bishops Conference, Vocation Director and Vicar General.
"All we can do now is pray with the family, the parish of Mohlakeng and the many people who loved and knew Lionel," said Archbishop Tlhagale. - Sapa"
From Eye Witness News
"Church-goers mourn loss of popular priest
JP du Plessis
Staff at the Our Lady of Africa Church on the West Rand has told Eyewitness News that they cannot believe a man as well loved as Father Lionel Sham was murdered.
The 66-year-old was abducted from his parish on Friday evening and his body was found in a Sebokeng morgue on Sunday after he was strangled.
Staff members at a crèche, built on church grounds, fought back tears as they welcomed children who arrived for the day.
Holding bundles of tissues and walking with slumped shoulders, most appeared shaken by the murder.
Residents living near the church offered their condolences, recounting their memories of Father Sham.
All of them agreed that police must catch the people responsible and that justice must prevail."