Pope Francis Appoints Bishops for South Africa’s Kimberly and Queenstown Dioceses

The new Bishop of South Africa's Kimberly Diocese, Duncan Tsoke (L) and the Bishop-elect of the country's Queenstown Diocese, Msgr. Paul Siphiwo Vanqa, S.A.C

Pope Francis has appointed Local Ordinaries for the Dioceses of Kimberly and Queenstown in South Africa.

In the announcement published by the Holy See Press Office Wednesday, March 3, the Holy Father has appointed the Auxiliary Bishop of Johannesburg, Duncan Theodore Tsoke as the Bishop of the country’s Kimberly Diocese.

The Diocese of Kimberly has been vacant since 9 December 2018 when Pope Francis appointed the late Archbishop Gabel Gabuza as the Coadjutor Archbishop of South Africa’s Durban Archdiocese.

Born in April 1964, Bishop Tsoke was ordained a Priest of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg in December 1995.

Until his appointment as the Auxiliary of Johannesburg in February 2016, the South African Prelate had served as the Vicar General of the Archdiocese since 2009.


In Kimberly Diocese, the 56-year-old Bishop will shepherd an estimated 198,700 Catholics spread across 123,053 square kilometers, according to 2017 statistics.

Erected as the Vicariate Apostolic of Kimberley in Orange in June 1886, the jurisdiction’s name changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of Kimberley in South Africa in 1918. 

It was elevated to a Diocese under the Ecclesiastical Province of Bloemfontein in January 1951. The Diocese is under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Pope Francis has also appointed the Diocesan Administrator of South Africa’s Queenstown Diocese, Msgr. Paul Siphiwo Vanqa as the Bishop of the same See.

Located in the Ecclesiastical Province of Cape Town, Queenstown Diocese has been vacant since 30 April 2019 when Bishop Dabula Mpako was appointed as the Archbishop of South Africa’s Pretoria Archdiocese.

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Born in Xonxa region of the Diocese of Queenstown in 1955, the Bishop-elect was ordained a Priest of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) in July 1986.

Since his ordination to the Priesthood, the 65-year-old Bishop-elect served in various capacities in several South African Dioceses, among them, as Parish Priest in Queenstown Diocese and Archdiocese of Durban.

He also served as the Vicar General of Queenstown Diocese from 2011 to 2019. 

Until his March 3 appointment, the Bishop-elect has been the Administrator of the Christ the King Cathedral of Queenstown Diocese, a position he held since 2015.

In the Religious Order of the Pallottines, Bishop-elect Vanqa once served as Counsellor (1996-2002) and Vice Delegate (2002-2010).


Established as the Prefecture Apostolic of Queenstown in March 1938, the jurisdiction was elevated to the Vicariate Apostolic of Queenstown in April 1948 and to a Diocese in January 1951.

According to 2018 statistics, the South African Diocese, which is under the patronage of Christ the King, has an estimated 59,240 Catholic population spread across 25,000 square kilometers.

“We congratulate the faithful of Kimberly and Queenstown together with their new Shepherds. We keep them in our prayerful gratitude to the Lord,” the leadership of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said in a March 3 statement announcing the appointments.