Statement from Cardinal Napier OFM, Archbishop of Durban
t is with the greatest sorrow that we announce the death of our Coadjutor Archbishop, Abel Gabuza.
Archbishop Abel died at Hillcrest Hospital 11:35am today (17 January 2021).
The Archbishop has not been with us in Durban long – just sort of 2 years but in that time we came to recognise him as a gentle, caring and warm-hearted pastor. Through his gentleness, caring and warmth he made an immediate impact on everyone who was privileged to make his acquaintance. That’s an added reason why his passing is such a tremendous loss to us and to the entire Church in Southern Africa.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Archbishops Abel’s sister, Hildegarde, to his cousin and best friend Khomotso and extended family as well as the Archbishop and people of Pretoria, his home city and home diocese until he came to Durban via Kimberley. We also feel very much for the Church and people in Kimberley who suffered a double loss, first with a beloved Bishop being transferred to Durban and now his permanent transfer to the Lord’s Kingdom.
On behalf of priests, deacons and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Durban, we commend we commend his soul to the hands of God and pray that he may eternal enjoy internal rest.
The Pope’s Ambassador to Southern Africa, Archbishop Peter Wells, has been informed. He in turn will inform the Holy See and ultimately Pope Francis.
To all we express sincere thanks for the many prayers and sacrifices offered up on behalf of our beloved Brother and Coadjutor Archbishop Abel Gabuza.
May he rest in peace!
Well done good and faithful servant, enter the Kingdom of your Father.
+ Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM
Archbishop of Durban
Father Brett Williams