Funeral of three Egyptian monks killed in South Africa to be held on Tuesday in Cairo

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Mar 2024

The Head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II will lead Tuesday in Cairo the funeral service of the three Egyptian Coptic monks who were killed last week at a monastery in Cullinan, South Africa.

Pope Tawadros II
The Head of Egypt s Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II speaks during a sermon. Photo courtesy of Coptic church spokesman.

 

According to the church’s statement issued on Monday, Pope Tawadros II will lead the funeral prayers for the victims at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbassiya at 10am.

After the funeral prayers, the bodies of the three monks will be transported to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in Beni Suef governorate’s Jabal El-Qalamoun for burial, said the church’s statement.

Last week, the three monks were found dead at the Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery, which belongs to Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, in Cullinan, northeast of Pretoria.

The victims – Monk Hegumen Takla El-Samuely (deputy of the Coptic Diocese of South Africa), Monk Yostos Ava Markos, and Monk Mina Ava Markos – had stab wounds, according to the police.

A fourth person was also beaten with an iron rod before escaping to safety.

The motive of the attack remains unknown, and police say nothing valuable was stolen from the monastery.

Two men have been arrested and on Thursday they were charged with murder when they appeared before a South African court.

The first accused, Saeed Basanda, is identified as a 37-year-old Egyptian national, while the second accused, Samuel Avamarkos, is identified as a 47-year-old South African citizen, in the charge sheet, the Associated Press reported.

The case was postponed to 27 March for the two to get legal representation in Arabic.

The two men will remain in custody until their next court appearance.

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