In camera appearance for suspects in deadly KZN mosque attack

2018-10-08 15:13
Members of the Hawks at the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam, outside Durban, after police found an explosive device at the mosque. (File) (Kerushun Pillay)

Members of the Hawks at the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam, outside Durban, after police found an explosive device at the mosque. (File) (Kerushun Pillay)

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Nineteen people arrested in connection with a fatal attack at a KwaZulu-Natal mosque and the placement of several explosive devices at various Durban shopping centres are currently appearing in camera in the Verulam Family Court.

Police officers who manned the door to the court told the media and members of the public, who had hoped to attend the proceedings, that it was decided that the proceedings would be held in camera (in private) on Monday.

"Yes, the matter is proceeding inside as we speak," said an unidentified officer.

White paper was also used to cover the court's glass doors. Heavily armed policemen could be observed guarding corridors near the courtroom and others stood outside the court.

The accused are likely to face charges of murder, attempted murder, extortion, kidnapping, the contravention of the Explosives Act and arson, the Hawks and the police said in a joint statement on Monday.

READ: 19 suspects to appear in court for KZN mosque attack, bomb scares - Hawks

The accused were arrested by a multi-disciplinary team on Friday in and around Durban, national Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said earlier.

Various items were confiscated during their arrests, including a ready-made incendiary device.

"Members also managed to rescue a victim who was found chained and malnourished inside a dungeon in one of the houses. The victim is under police protection in one of the hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal," Mulaudzi said.

The Hawks did not provide any further information about the identity of the person or the circumstances around the incident.

In May this year, three knife-wielding men attacked worshippers at the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa, Verulam, north of Durban.

Abbas Essop died during the attack at the Shia mosque, while Imam Ali Nchiyane and caretaker Mohammed Ali survived.

Azad Seedat, the mosque's chairperson, said the mosque's library had been petrol-bombed.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the government had deemed the incidents very serious and demanded a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to book.

Read more on:    bheki cele  |  durban  |  crime

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