Stoned to death for doubting Witchcraft Benedict Daswa is set to become southern Africa’s first saint

A primary school head teacher in the Limpopo, who was stoned to death after publicly doubting the power of witchcraft, is set to become southern Africa’s first saint.

The brutal killing of Benedict Daswa went more or less unnoticed in the violent final years of apartheid.

“There was a lot of violence and killings for political purposes,” said Patrick Slattery, the former bishop of Tzaneen.

But as the years passed, Mr Daswa’s name did not fade in the Limpopo.

Catholics kept commemorating his death and held a procession to the scene of his murder on the 10th anniversary in February 2000.

Now Pope Francis has approved the beatification of Mr Daswa, a former herder and father of eight, a major step on the path to sainthood.