Meanwhile, the second court hearing of the case of Sr. Veronika Rackova, the member of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS) from Slovakia who was shot dead in 2016, has been adjourned to February 16.
The first court hearing for late Sr. Rackova started on January 10 at South Sudan’s High Court in Juba, presided over by Judge Sumeiya Salah.
For the second court hearing, a January 26 CRN report indicates that “the mobility to bring the alleged perpetrators from Yei was not done on time which made it unsuccessful for the suspects to appear before the court.”
The late Sr. Rackova who had pioneered the SSpS mission in Yei Diocese in South Sudan since 2010 died at Kenya’s Nairobi Hospital on 20 May 2016 after she was attacked and shot several times by a group of soldiers.
Sr. Rackova succumbed to gunshot wounds on her hip and abdomen that she suffered when the St. Bakhita Health Center Ambulance she was driving came under attack from the armed soldiers.
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The medical doctor with specialization in tropical diseases was returning to the convent after having taken a patient to Harvest Hospital in Yei when the 15 May 2016 midnight attack happened.
After undergoing two surgeries at the Hospital for Women and Children in Yei, the missionary Sister who was 58 at the time was airlifted to Nairobi the following day for specialized treatment where she died.
Last year, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Sr. Rackova’s death, the Catholic Bishop of Yei Diocese underscored the need for justice for the Catholic Nun.
“We are happy with lawyers who are trying their best (in) our civil court here in Yei to see where the witnesses may be and those others who might have pointed the gun at Sister, to the point of even killing her,” Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe was quoted as saying 20 May 2021.
The Church, Bishop Lodu Tombe added, “cannot allow injustice to continue to destroy the world and so the case of Sister Veronica which is ongoing, is going too long but legal procedures are like that and we are to follow it until we get justice before the court.”
The South Sudanese Bishop further said, “We have forgiven those who have killed the Sister but at the same time we are pursuing justice; forgiveness with justice go together; you forgive but you demand justice.”
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.