A Kenyan missionary is to appear in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court today suspected of crucifying a Mormon church custodian on Halloween in an apparent satanic murder ritual.
Charles Jacobs, 54, was found in the back of the church with his bleeding head bound like a crown by the shorts he had been wearing, his skin torn from lashes and a wound inflicted in his side.
Police believe the murder weapon was a garden fork.
The word “Satun” was written on the floor, apparently in his blood.
Jacobs was found dead in a back room of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Klein Drakenstein, Paarl on Monday night by his brother Ivor Jacobs, and friend Godfrey Makapele.
“My brother’s death was caused by his innate trust in people. He was such a gentle and loving person. And now we were all faced by pure evil.
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“As a family we just hope that his death will be a wake-up call to this country … that Satan is furious,” Jacobs said yesterday.
“My brother lived close to the church and returned home every evening at dinner time. He lived for the church and moved only between it and the house,” he said.
“When he did not return home at the usual time, my mother Christina said we must go and look for him in the church.
Everything was locked exactly the way my brother would have locked it. It’s quite a complicated system. Another person wouldn’t be able to do it unless my brother knew him and showed him how.”
Police forensic experts and an occult task team spent an entire day combing the crime scene.
The suspect is a 28-year-old law student and missionary from Kenya, expelled from the church. He was arrested on Thursday, with another suspect, said police spokesman Billy Jones.
He did not have details of the second suspect.
Jacob’s cellphone and two DVD players were stolen from a cupboard.
The suspect has lived legally in South Africa for two years, and married a woman from Paarl East, but they are estranged.
“My elderly mother had given the Kenyan dinner because his eyes were bloodshot, he was sweating and he seemed hungry,” Ivor Jacobs said.
“The man, who said he speaks 11 languages, had asked my brother to help him return to Kenya. My brother helped people to write CVs and find work, and often corresponded with embassies on behalf of missionaries.”
Charles Jacobs was unmarried and lived with his mother and brother in Paarl East. He had been custodian of the church since the early 1980s.
Charles is survived by his mother Christina, brothers Ivor and Richard, and his sisters Sharon Wyngaard and Sophi-Ann Arries.
A memorial service was held yesterday.