A South African couple working as missionaries in Madagascar had a rough start to the year.
Nic Strydom, 65, who’s lived in Madagascar for 22 years with his wife, Tina, 65, was arrested on Friday in relation to an incident that took place two weeks ago.
Hartenbos Dutch Reformed Church minister Johan Engelbrecht confirmed to YOU that the couple work as evangelists in Madagascar.
"They were there to train missionaries," Johan told YOU on Tuesday.
Before the couple moved to Madagascar more than two decades ago to work as missionaries, they’d been working in the Dutch Reformed congregation in Brackenfell West, near Cape Town.
The incident for which Strydom was arrested happened about two weeks ago. Engelbrecht said Strydom had told him he was driving his car when a pedestrian walked in front of his vehicle.
“The car’s dashcam recorded the incident and the footage showed the accident hadn’t been Nic’s fault,” Johan says. Nic had installed the dashcam about a month before.
Strydom had taken the pedestrian to a local hospital, where he was relieved to discover that the man had only suffered bruises. He even paid for the man’s X-rays, which showed no broken bones. The man was discharged the same day.
He then reported the matter to police and made a statement. The Strydoms considered the matter settled.
But on Friday, Strydom’s assistant – a local man who mainly acts as his interpreter – told him a summons had been delivered for him to appear in court later that morning.
He was subsequently arrested in court.
After an investigation, a decision was made to prosecute Strydom. It’s unclear what he’s been charged with.
"The officers who arrested him alleged that he could’ve manipulated the video," Engelbrecht said.
Tina hasn’t seen or spoken to her husband since his arrest. She doesn’t know when he can apply for bail or when the trial will start, because the courts haven’t reopened yet after the festive season.The couple’s 39-year-old son, who works for a company on the island, was able to see his dad for five minutes over the weekend to take him food and bedding.