Benedict Daswa, the first South African martyr, will be beatified on 13 September at Thohoyandou Venda in Limpopo. Daswa, a highly skilled educator and an exemplary husband and father, who fought for the Catholic faith and resisted witchcraft, was killed by the enraged supporter of witchcraft, while he was praying on his knees on 2nd February 1990. He was stoned, beaten and burnt to death. With his beatification, Daswa will be the first blessed martyr of the Catholic Church in South Africa, probably in the future the first South African saint.
Born in 1946 in the village of Mbahe, Daswa was baptised as a Catholic on April 21, 1963. In 1980, he married Shadi, with whom he had eight children. Daswa strongly resisted witchcraft, rife throughout the region, as innocent people were sometimes massacred in the process. Enraged by this, a group of men attacked him on 2 February 1990, and killed him. Since his martyrdom, his fame began to spread and thousands of people began to gather at his tomb on his death anniversary.