Justice before forgiveness, priest says

2011-07-28 20:04

Pretoria - Justice has to be done before forgiveness can be considered for the killer of a Catholic priest in Diepsloot, a missionary told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Father Sean O'Leary said he was sure their congregation and God would eventually forgive self-confessed killer Nelson Kabelo Malope, 20, but the church wanted to see justice done first.

Malope told the court he murdered Father Louis Blondel, 70, in 2009 and robbed him and fellow priest Guido Bourgeois because he wanted money for drugs and alcohol.

He said he and a group of four friends had decided to rob Father Blondel because they had an order for a computer.

Malope, who comes from Groblersdal, had only been in Diepsloot for four days when he murdered the respected priest.

O'Leary said if the court was lenient in sentencing Malope, it would send out the message that it was okay to kill a priest because they were easy targets.

"You can't go around in the street at 02:00 in the morning with a gun and shoot a priest. It's not acceptable," he said

"The church is looking for justice. Not revenge. Just justice."

Will never do it again

O'Leary said he really felt sorry for Malope's parents, but it was clear they could not control their son.

He said Blondel, who had been in South Africa for 22 years, had been a leading member of the church's organisation Missionaries of Africa.

He had established a trade school in Orange Farm to help the unemployed, but his murder resulted in his plans for a similar school in Diepsloot being cancelled.

He said Father Blondel's brother and sisters in France were absolutely devastated and the community was numb with shock about his terrible killing.

Malope said he wanted to ask his victim's family and his parents for forgiveness.

"I didn't know what I was doing. I will never do it again," he said.

First offender

Malope's mother Ester burst into tears when she told the court her son had been a good boy who never gave her any trouble.

She said she was surprised to hear about his crimes and did not know what to say to his victim's family or in front of the face of God.

Prosecutor P W Coetzer argued that Malope should be sent to jail for a long time, despite his youth.

Defence counsel Ndshine Molobedi however asked the court not to send his client to jail at all because he was a first offender, was young when he committed the crimes and had been subjected to peer pressure.

The trial was postponed to September 5 for sentencing.

  • THE.SRG - 2011-07-28 20:22

    so if your friends pressure you to kill and you do it then its a valid sir its not....and a good boy would not be pressured into killing a priest!

  • phillie - 2011-07-28 20:53

    So murder as a first offense is acceptable!!!!! I think the justice system must start screening their defence lawyers for psychological disorders such as mad cow syndrome.

  • birdman - 2011-07-28 21:11

    "You can't go around in the street at 02:00 in the morning with a gun and shoot a priest. It's not acceptable," An Irish statement by Paddy O'Leary!

      debrakayestylist - 2011-07-28 22:01

      you shouldn't shoot anybody at all

  • Corry - 2011-07-28 22:49

    Ahhh, but when priests molest kids then it must be forgiveness and not justice (more like sweeping it under the carpet). How fkd up is that????????

      Warslat - 2011-07-29 03:28

      So justice is served when nobody gets justice???

  • swessels1 - 2011-07-28 23:10

    Commenters always judge. Do you know the man? NO!! Have you seen him? NO!! Then what gives you the right to decide his fate? And how does it affect you if he gets sentenced to jail? NONE what so ever. I think the guy was pretty darm courages for confessing. And that the priest died for a good cause. A believe a soul has found salvation. And I dont care if you judge my comment? Only God can judge me

  • thurnie - 2011-07-28 23:15

    i find it rich for the church to be seeking justice when one of its own are killed. yes, everyone should seek justice, but the catholic church must be last in the queue for justice - me being catholic myself. for the thousands of innocent victims of sexual abuse, they too would be seeking justice before forgiveness. The Roman Catholic Church must be held accountable, and very little has been done in this regard. I invite everyone to watch "deliver us from evil" a documentary that shook the God within me, and not even the Pope or a representative wanted to see them at Vatican City, as a fellow Catholic i am ashamed to be associated with such an organization who see you as only good for one thing - money. Just like the innocent victims of sexual abuse, a lenient sentence would also mean that its ok for priest to go about sexually abusing children, and because it was covered up from the highest ranks, it continued in this fashion. Just like this boy's mother was accused of not having control of this boy, how much more can be said when the church knew and had control of priests` guilty of such a personally violating crime. Im not making light of the situation, a death is serious, but likewise is someone life - when an adult deems it appropriate to violate a innocent young persons life - stunting its growth, leading to a path that makes it ok to do the same to others. It is a sad case, when the role of the priest is to inspire to do good, instead it turns into a greater evil!

      Spoedvark - 2011-07-29 01:31

      Applause. I agree with the priest absolutely. Let him now persuade his own organisation.

      Warslat - 2011-07-29 03:27

      @ justice is served when nobody gets justice???

  • Fedup - 2011-07-29 08:32

    Hang the bastards. Priests are vunerable in any religion because they are un-armed and easy prey.

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