Cape Jewish Board of Deputies condemns 'heinous' Malmesbury mosque attack

2018-06-14 17:41
Outside the Malmesbury mosque where two people were stabbed to death. (Rodger Bosch/AFP)

Outside the Malmesbury mosque where two people were stabbed to death. (Rodger Bosch/AFP)

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The Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputiescalled on all communities to "redouble efforts against hate" in the wake of the stabbing to death of two Muslim worshipers at a Malmesbury mosque on Thursday morning.

"There can be no justification whatsoever for the loss of life at a place of worship, in this manner," said chairperson Rael Kaimowitz, describing the attack as "heinous". 

READ: 'We tried to help our dad' - brothers explain how they tried to save father from Malmesbury mosque attacker

"We pray for the two victims and their families, and call on all communities to redouble efforts to defeat the evils of hate for good.

"Mosques, Churches, Temples, Synagogues and all places of worship are sacrosanct and must be places of safety," said Kaimowitz.

In the early hours of Thursday, two worshipers - engaged in the religious practice of Itikaaf where men pray and sleep at the mosque for the last ten days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadaan - were killed by a knife-wielding stranger to whom they had offered refuge for the night.

READ: #MosqueAttack: Worshippers thought attacker needed a place to sleep, didn't want to turn him away

He was apparently on his way to Vredendal, and although unfamiliar, it would have been unthinkable to turn him away given this spiritual time, a relative of deceased Ismail Bassa, Imraahn Mukaddam said earlier.

He turned on Bassa, and a Somali national whose name is being withheld until his family is informed. He also injured two other people, as Bassa's sons tried to fight him off.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said the man was in his thirties charged at the police who had arrived and had tried to persuade him to hand himself over.

"He ignored the calls and tried to attack police. He was shot and killed in the process."

His name is also not immediately available, but his body lay in the mud near a police vehicle he had apparently tried to stab outside the mosque.

The investigation has been handed to the Directorate for Priority Crimes, also known as the Hawks.

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