The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has expressed relief that the Hawks have identified the perpetrator involved in gruesome knife attack at the Malmesbury masjid. Two worshippers were killed, and two others injured, when the perpetrator attacked them whilst they were performing I’tikaaf during Ramadan. 74 year old Ismail Bassa and Ziyaad Hidji were stabbed to death and the suspect died during a police chase outside the masjid.
On Thursday, the Hawks revealed that they had identified the perpetrator as 23-year old Nur Arawal who was an outpatient at Karl Bremer Psychiatric Hospital. They have ruled out terrorism or “radical activity” as the motive in the attack.
MJC secretary-general Shaykh Isgaak Taliep said after the incident last month, the MJC hosted the Malmesbury Mosque Committee, the Somali Ambassador, Somali leadership and the Hawks to ensure full co-operation with their investigations. Taliep said they are satisfied with the latest information.
“Many rumours have spread via social media and even mainstream media regarding the motive of the attack. We hope this outcome of the Hawks investigation brings this matter to a close,” he said.
Taliep emphasised that Muslims in South Africa have a rich history of tolerance and harmonious co-existence with other faith communities despite the oppression of Dutch and British Colonialism as well as during the brutal Apartheid rule. The Somali community is an integral part of Cape Muslim society.
The Hawks also confirmed that Arawal’s remains have been handed over to the family for repatriation and burial. However, further details on the police chase and the subsequent shooting is being probed by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
“Once again, we send our condolences to the victim’s families. We further thank our fellow South Africans for their support and well-wishes during this very difficult period for all.”
“We pray that an incident like the one seen in Malmesbury is never repeated in South Africa. It is the responsibility of all leaders and citizens to continuously promote peaceful co-existence in our country.” VOC