Suspect arrested after murder of Flemish priest in South Africa

Suspect arrested after murder of Flemish priest in South Africa
The arrested suspect was found to be in possession of the deceased priest's phone. Credit: Pxfuel

Authorities in South Africa have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the presumed murder of a Belgian priest, found dead inside his home.

The man arrested was found in possession of Joseph Hollanders' phone and will be facing murder charges when he appears before a court on Friday, De Standaard reports.

Hollanders, dead at 83, was a Flemish oblate who had been living in the South African village of Bodibe, some 200 kilometres west of Johannesburg.

A town resident who was meant to meet Hollander in his home on 12 January discovered the man's lifeless body, found tied up but with no visible traces of injury, according to police.

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Authorities suspect Hollanders was the victim of a break-in and robbery which took place shortly after he returned home from Sunday service.

"That man had a big heart, he lived for his community, the people were a part of his life," Bishop Victor Phalana told De Standaard.

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out to determine the cause of death, with police saying they believed Hollanders died from strangulation.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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