Suspects Accused of Fatal Stabbing of Three Egyptian Monks in South Africa Appear in Court

Two men accused of fatally stabbing three Egyptian monks from the Coptic Orthodox Church in South Africa made their court appearance on Thursday and will remain in custody until their next hearing.

Saeed Basanda, a 37-year-old Egyptian national, dressed in a blue t-shirt with a bandage on his left hand, appeared alongside his co-accused, 47-year-old South African citizen Samuel Avamarkos, in connection with the murders that occurred at the Saint Mark Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Cullinan.

Both suspects listed their addresses as the same plot where the crimes took place. The court postponed the case to March 27 to allow the defendants to secure legal representation and an Arabic translator.

The monks were killed on Tuesday, with a fourth person surviving after being beaten with an iron rod, according to the police. No motive has been determined for the attack, and nothing was reported stolen.

Members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, donning black robes, were present in the courtroom during the proceedings.

While the Coptic Orthodox Church has faced deadly attacks by militants in Egypt and elsewhere, such incidents are rare in South Africa, adding to the mystery surrounding the motive behind the triple killing.

The victims were identified as Monk Hegumen Takla el-Samuely, Monk Yostos ava Markos, and Monk Mina ava Markos, all Egyptian nationals. Monk Hegumen Takla el-Samuely was described as the deputy of the local diocese by the Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa.

Quest: Cris-Edesiri Odjomah

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