Mall attack: SA, Kenyan officials in touch

2013-09-23 10:36
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Kenya mall attack latest pictures

See the latest pictures from the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists have killed at least 68 and hostages are being held.

Pretoria - South African officials were in touch with Kenyan authorities following an attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, where almost 70 people, including a South African, were killed, a spokesperson said on Monday.

"Our officials are on the ground and are in touch with local authorities. South Africans in the area should contact the South African mission on the ground if they require assistance," said international relations and co-operation spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

Monyela said in a statement on Sunday a South African had died during a shoot-out at the mall in Kenya.

Attack condemned

"The South African government condemns the terrorist attack in Kenya in which a number of civilians, including a South African national were killed," he said.

The Star newspaper identified him on Monday as Cape Town businessman James Thomas, 57.

Thomas was in Kenya for business when gunmen, reportedly sparing Muslims, attacked the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Saturday.

Speaking on behalf of his family, Dave Meldrum, a pastor from Mowbray, told the daily that Thomas had been shot in the attack.

He went to the mall on Saturday afternoon with colleagues.

"They had just come out of a supermarket when James wandered off from the group. When the attack happened, he had been separated from his colleagues."

The family was notified of his death just after noon on Sunday. He had been shot once.

Thomas was in Kenya for work he did for EcoVentures International as a field associate. He was also the chairperson of the Cape Town Pro Cantu Youth Choir.


The Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported on Monday that around a dozen assailants were involved in the attack, with at least 68 people killed.

The Al Qaeda-linked Somali Shebab rebels, believed to be responsible for the attack, were still holding hostages inside the mall on Monday morning, according to AFP.

The Associated Press news agency reported that more than 175 people were also injured in the attack.


Read more on:    kenya  |  kenya mall attack  |  east africa

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