US nun killed during kidnapping, dumped in South Africa stream – New York Daily News

Sister Mary Paule holds a child from the orphanage she started. She received a papal award for her outstanding work with the poor.Cottonwood Chronicle Sister Mary Paule holds a child from the orphanage she started. She received a papal award for her outstanding work with the poor.


She helped children escape South Africa’s apartheid and started an orphanage, but at 82, an Idaho-born Catholic nun was found dead in a stream in Libode after a violent carjacking.


The body of Sister Mary Paule Tacke was found floating in a remote stream near the village of Tyara after armed men stole her car and kidnapped the nun Sunday outside the orphanage she founded.


The two suspects managed to evade Mthatha police in a high-speed chase before the car overturned and crashed. Investigators found a handgun and cellphone in the vehicle,
according to Dispatch Live, a South African newspaper.


The men fled the crash on foot and police were unable to track them down for an arrest until Friday.


It’s not clear what caused Sister Tacke’s death because investigators did not find any wounds on her body. They suspect she may have been strangled, the newspaper reported.


“Those cowards did not even respect the fact that she was wearing clothes worn by nuns,” philanthropist Tshepo Machaea told the paper.


News of Sister Tacke’s tragic death reached her hometown of Cottonwood, Idaho, from where her brother Mark 87, spoke to the Daily News.


His sister loved South Africa. Growing up, the nun had no idea she would spend the rest of her life there helping orphans and remote villages.


Sister Mary Paule Tacke is seen with  Brenna Riggers of  Idaho, the nun’s home state.Cottonwood Chronicle Sister Mary Paule Tacke is seen with Brenna Riggers of Idaho, the nun’s home state.


“My sister loved those people,” Mark Tacke told the Daily News. “She would be the first one to forgive them.”


Sister Tacke understood the risks, and was previously robbed by gunpoint at a mall. That suspect demanded her keys and even called her “Granny.”


“Why would anyone want to attack someone who was contributing to the upliftment of the country?” South African politician Mosiuoa Lekota said in Dispatch Live.



It was hard for Tacke to express his grief because he didn’t want to give the impression that the people of South Africa were cruel, he said.


He hadn’t seen Sister Tacke in nearly a decade, but they spoke on the phone regularly because she always wanted to know what was going on in her hometown where school children frequently raised money for her orphanages.


The older brother recalled a party he attended during his last visit to South Africa in 2005. He saw the orphans and volunteers known as “Mamas” singing together.


Tacke didn’t understand the words, but it was “just great to see them see together.”


Her missionary work in South Africa began in the 1950s. She founded the Bethany Place of Safety in 1955 after police officers dropped off orphans at her doorstep. She later founded the Thembelihle Home, an orphanage for older children, where she spent her last hours over the weekend. Many of the children she worked with were HIV-positive, Tacke said.


He claimed his sister helped children escape South Africa during apartheid,
according to an obituary he wrote for the Lewiston Tribune.


Former students of Sister Tacke wrote to the Dispatch Live in the days following her death thanking her for giving them an education.


“You’ve been a mother to me,” Sivuyile Mange wrote. “She dedicated herself to ensuring that even those whose future was uncertain did have a bright future like myself.”


His family and other residents of Cottonwood will hold a memorial for her in August.


nhensley@nydailynews.com


Follow me on Twitter: @nkhensley


US nun killed during kidnapping, dumped in South Africa stream – New York Daily News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *