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Somali attack not over religion: SASA

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The Somali Association of South Africa (SASA) says the shooting of four Somali nationals in Mitchells Plain last week was not religiously motivated, contrary to recent media reports. The incident took place at the Mitchells Plain Town Centre on Wednesday, where a lone Somali gunman opened fire on four fellow nationals. Three of the victims died, one at the scene with another two perishing later in hospital. The shooter, in possession of an unlicensed 9mm firearm, was later arrested by police.

SASA’s Mohammad Aden Osman, cousin to one of the victims, urged the media to avoid exaggerating a matter which had already left the Somali community appalled and in shock.

“Unfortunately when something happens (against foreigners) in our community, like the lootings in Soweto, instead of reporting the real issue and trying to be more objective, they [journalists] were talking about foreigners and illegal firearms, turning a blind eye towards the bottom line of the incident,” he said, adding that he believed there was a xenophobic attitude present within South African media.

Osman suggested authorities were in possession of CCTV footage of the incident.

“Everybody can analyze that (video footage) and imagine, but remember it is still just imagining and nobody knows the real fact of what happened,” he explained.

He said the case was currently under investigation, and that only the accused knew the motive behind the shooting.

“We are investigating, and we do have some information. Police are (also) still investigating, and the suspect will appear in the Mitchells Plain court today,” he noted.

The alleged perpetrator faces charges of murder, attempted murder as well as unlicensed possession of a firearm. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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