Bishop drives into wall with bullet lodged in his chest

Mthatha – Several leads are being investigated in relation the mysterious murder of well-known Eastern Cape bishop Thembinkosi Fandaleki, provincial police said on Wednesday.

Fandaleki, 54, was killed late on Monday after the car he was driving crashed into a building a couple hundred meters away from the Mthatha cluster police station.

The Methodist bishop had already been shot in his upper chest before he crashed into the building, Eastern Cape police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela told News24.

"We suspect he was trying to drive away from something towards the hospital when he lost control over his vehicle. He could’ve been unconscious due to the loss of blood which resulted in the crash," Fatyela said.

He said a case of murder has been opened, but no arrests have been made.

Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle on Wednesday remembered Fandaleki as a passionate community development champion.

"Reverend Fandaleki helped revive the importance of the moral regeneration movement among our communities, not just in Mthatha, where he was based, but throughout our province," Masualle said in a statement.

"We expect the police to conduct their investigation with the necessary speed but leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators of this crime to book."

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa said it was "deeply shocked" by Fandaleki’s murder and asked congregants to pray for his family during "distressing time".

Funeral arrangements needed to be confirmed, the church said on Facebook.