The Jamia Masjid in Lower Chiappini Street, Bo-Kaap has been hit by an alarming spate of theft in recent weeks, with monies reportedly being snatched from the mosques safe. While staff have resolved to changing locks on several occasions, this has done little to curb the criminal activity. Robbers have also stolen an amplifying system placed under the mimbar of the mosque, just days after the equipment was installed.
In order to gauge when the incidents where taking place and who was responsible, the mosque committee installed surveillance cameras without informing congregants, as well as hired security personnel to monitor those cameras.
In the case of the stolen amplifying system, Imam Mouti Saban, officiating imam at the Jamia Masjid said they were shocked to discover the theft had been committed at 12:10pm in the afternoon, barely an hour before thuhr prayers. Even more surprisingly, the mosque was locked at the time of the incident.
“The cameras show there was a guy coming from upstairs who goes straight to the safe, takes out a wire and very professionally slides away the lid of the safe. Then he goes around, the cameras picking up everything, and removes the amplifying system from the mosque. He then just opened the latch of the mosque and walked out,” he explained.
With such incidents also noted at other mosques across the city, Saban it was now a necessity that all masjid’s follow suit and install CCTV cameras in order to curb criminal activity. In addition, there was also need for some form of security to be present during prayer times, to ensure no theft was taking place when congregants had their attentions diverted.
“Since we have done this they have stopped the stealing from the safe. But we must become more vigilant, unfortunately,” he urged.
Mosque congregants, imams, committee members and trustee have been urged to take active steps in upping security at their respective masajid. VOC