Shock and sadness over Malmesbury mosque killing - AS IT HAPPENED

2018-06-14 18:00

Scores of residents have gathered at the Malmesbury mosque for the funeral of two worshippers who were killed, before their attacker was shot dead by police.

The mosque in Malmesbury where an attacker killed

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Last Updated at 19:17
14 Jun 19:03

14 Jun 18:47

14 Jun 18:32

14 Jun 18:28
The bodies have now arrived.

14 Jun 18:28

As buckets of KFC were passed around the mosque to break the fast, congregants were told that as long as they were law abiding citizens they had no need to fear.

To the Somalis there he said: "You are not foreigners. No you are with us."

He said a meeting was planned for Monday with the Muslim Judicial Council and Somali community elders to talk about these issues.

14 Jun 18:27

The Imam is leading mourners through prayers.

The Moulana's message at the prayers for two men killed in the Malmesbury mosque was to urge people not to brand groups of people based on the actions of one.

14 Jun 18:26

14 Jun 18:25

14 Jun 16:51

14 Jun 16:36

14 Jun 15:46

Intense divisions among Muslim clerics in SA highlighted in wake of Malmesbury mosque attack

The deadly attack on a mosque in Malmesbury on Thursday has highlighted intense divisions among Muslim clerics around the country, that apparently stems from an accord signed in Cape Town earlier this month, which was meant to foster peace.

Early on Thursday, two worshippers were killed and others wounded in the attack on the mosque in the small Western Cape town.

14 Jun 15:26

(CONTENT WARNING: Not for sensitive viewers)

14 Jun 15:25

14 Jun 14:18

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

Muslim worshippers at a Malmesbury mosque, where two people were killed and two others injured on Thursday morning, apparently thought the attacker needed a place to sleep and didn't want to turn him away.

Activist Imraahn Mukaddam, who is a relative of one of the deceased, said worshippers were at the mosque for Itikaaf - a religious practice where men live and pray at the mosque for the last 10 days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadaan. 

Mukaddam said, based on his discussions with worshippers, they had told him that the attacker had introduced himself as Somali, and said he was on his way to Vredenburg on the West Coast.

The man asked for somewhere to overnight and, even though the Somali worshippers present felt a twinge of unease because his dialect was different, it would have been unthinkable to turn him away during Itikaaf.

The two dead men - Ismail Bassa, 74 and a Somali national, whose name is being withheld until his family has been informed - were also in the mosque for Itikaaf.

Mukaddam is a cousin of Bassa.

Malmesbury Police Constable Henry Durant told News24 that, at about 03:00, the man just got up and started stabbing people. 

14 Jun 13:12

WATCH: No link established between Malmesbury and Verulam mosque attacks yet - Sitole

14 Jun 12:54

According to the Associated Press, the Democratic Alliance has condemned the attack and said South Africans have the right to religious freedom. 

"An attack on people while they worship is a direct attack on the Constitution and the freedoms we enjoy in this country," the DA said.

14 Jun 12:44

STATEMENT: South African Jewish Board of Deputies on behalf of the Cape Jewish community 

"The Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies and Jewish community condemn the heinous act of violence that took place in the Malmesbury mosque this morning. There can be no justification whatsoever for the loss of life at a place of worship, in this manner. 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."

14 Jun 12:40

Ebrahim Rasool said that President Cyril Ramaphosa "expresses condolences to the families and the community", according to AFP.

"(He) expresses his concern about this plague that is infiltrating the Muslim community of intolerance, killing and real conflict," said Rasool. 

14 Jun 12:39

My husband was 'murdered, slaughtered' 

Zainab Bassa, the wife of 72-year-old Ismail Bassa who was killed in the attack, told AFP that her husband of more than 30 years was "slaughtered" as he prayed.

"My husband talked to everybody, he loved kids, it's a great loss for me, as well as for the community, to pass away in a masjid, murdered, slaughtered," said the 59-year-old Bassa.

"That was his second house – you would always find him in the mosque. He left last night and said 'I'm going now, I'll buy you another Eid dress'." 

Two other people were wounded and are being treated in hospital. 

14 Jun 12:34

WATCH - Malmesburg attack: MJC says they have a good relationship with the Somalian community

14 Jun 12:11

14 Jun 12:00

14 Jun 11:59

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirms, two worshippers killed, as well as the suspect. Two people were injured in the attack. The investigation has been handed over to the Hawks. 

The second victim is also believed to be a Somalian national.

14 Jun 11:41

14 Jun 11:34
The body of the man alleged to be the attacker who killed two worshippers in a Malmesbury mosque, lying in a field after being shot by police. (Rodger Bosch/AFP)

14 Jun 11:23

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

The sons of Ismail Bassa, 74, who was killed in a mosque attack in Malmesbury on Thursday morning, have told News24 of how they tried to fight off his attacker.

Suad Bassa, 30, said his brother, Faizel, 24 was also injured in the attack.

Suad said his father was attacked during the early hours, while he was sleeping in the mosque.

His father was in the mosque for Itikaaf - an Islamic practice where men retreat to the mosque to live and pray for the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan. 

Thursday was expected to be the last day of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting.

Two people were killed in the attack at the Malmesbury mosque at about 03:00.

When News24 arrived, the Bassa home was crowded as people also took shelter from the rain. 

14 Jun 11:10

The bomb squad was checking for any explosive devices, but it now seems they have given the all-clear. Forensic workers in blue scrubs are now on the scene. (Jenna Etheridge/News24)

14 Jun 11:08

An officer from the bomb squad gets suited up in a bomb disposal suit before inspecting a suspicious bag. (Jenna Etheridge/News24)

14 Jun 11:03

An officer in a bomb disposal suit is inspecting a bag that belonged to the attacker. It is understood that the bomb squad was checking for explosive devices.

14 Jun 10:54

WATCH: Son of man killed in Malmesbury mosque attack tried to fight off the attacker

14 Jun 10:37

Mufti Ismail Menk reacts.

14 Jun 10:34

14 Jun 10:32

14 Jun 10:31

Ismail Bassa's son, Faizel, tells News24 he managed to "get a few shots (punches) in" on the attacker, but the man stabbed him in the arm and face.

14 Jun 10:27

The attacker reportedly asked for "shelter" in the mosque, according to a witness on the scene.

14 Jun 10:25

Ismail Bassa was in the mosque for Itikaaf – an Islamic practice where men retreat to the mosque to live and pray for the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadaan. The MJC has also confirmed the worshippers were in the mosque for Itikaaf.

14 Jun 10:18

WATCH: Muslim Judicial Council condemns attack on Malmesbury mosque

14 Jun 10:12

14 Jun 10:12

Members of the Muslim Judicial Council are on the scene, and President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly sent an ANC delegation to Malmesbury.

14 Jun 10:06

The muddy field where the Malmesbury mosque attacker fled to, faced off with police and died. (Jenna Etheridge/News24)

14 Jun 10:01

According to News24 reporter Jenna Etheridge, who is on the scene in Malmesbury, Ismail Bassa (one of the attack victims) lived right next door to the mosque. It is currently pouring with rain so everyone is huddled inside the Bassa home.

14 Jun 09:55

Authorities have cordoned off the area around the mosque in Malmesbury. (Jenna Etheridge/News24)

14 Jun 09:52

Ismail Bassa, 74, one of the deceased in the Malmesbury mosque attack. (Supplied)

14 Jun 09:49

2 killed, attacker shot dead in stabbing attack at Malmesbury mosque

Two worshippers have been killed and several wounded in a stabbing attack at a mosque in Malmesbury in the Western Cape in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Western Cape police confirmed that the attacker was shot dead by police.

The attack comes at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and five weeks after another attack at a mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said Malmesbury police were called out to the mosque in the early hours of the morning and found two people stabbed to death and several injured.

"A couple of hours ago - about 03:00 - as people got themselves ready to pray, the suspect just got up and started stabbing the people. He was praying with them," Malmesbury Police Constable Henry Durant told News24. 

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