Sisters hope murder suspects would repent after arrests

2015-04-29 00:00

SISTERS at the Sacred Heart Home in Ixopo said they prayed the three men arrested for the alleged rape and murder of Gertrud Tiefenbacher would now turn their lives around.

Three men linked to the brutal rape and murder of the 87-year-old Roman Catholic nun at the convent last week were arrested in a swoop by police late on Monday night.

Following news of the arrests, Sister Gerald Frye said they had been praying for the arrest of the suspects, and now that they have been apprehended, the nuns would pray for God to help them turn their lives around.

“They should now look at their own lives and turn it around. We are relieved because we never saw or heard the ­suspects enter and it felt like there was a ghost in the convent, but now that fear is gone,” Frye said.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said a task team established to probe Tiefenbacher’s murder acted on a tip and raided several locations in the Shayamoya informal settlement outside Ixopo, arresting three men aged 25 to 35. They are due to appear in the ­Ixopo Magistrate’s Court today, facing murder, robbery and rape charges.

“During their arrest, they were found in possession of property which was positively identified as stolen property belonging to the victim,” said Zwane.

Tiefenbacher was found dead in her room during the early hours of Sunday morning, April 19.

It is believed that she was overpowered by the three men, who bound her with a typewriter cord and suffocated her with a towel.

She was still clutching her rosary when her body was discovered.

Foreign currency and other valuables were stolen, Zwane said.

KZN police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni commended the task team for arrests.

“I also wish to thank members of the community who responded to my call and provided information to the police which aided in the arrest of the ­suspects. We hope that justice will be served and these thugs are imprisoned for a long time,” she said.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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