Western Cape mosque attack suspect was psychiatric patient

05 July 2018 - 09:29 By Naledi Shange
Zainab Bassa (red scarf) wife of Malmesbury mosque victim Ismail Bassa, 74, during prayers at her home on June 14 2018.
Zainab Bassa (red scarf) wife of Malmesbury mosque victim Ismail Bassa, 74, during prayers at her home on June 14 2018.
Image: Esa Alexander

The knife-wielding suspect in the deadly attack at a mosque in Malmesbury, Western Cape, was an outpatient at a psychiatric institution‚ the Hawks said on Thursday.

"The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Nur Arawal‚" said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

"[He] was an outpatient at Bellville's Karl Bremer Psychiatric Hospital [from] 2013 until recently‚" he added.

Mulaudzi said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) was investigating the circumstances around Arawal's death. He was alleged to have stabbed to death two people and injured several others in a Malmesbury mosque last month.

Police reportedly shot Arawal dead as he charged at them with a knife when they arrived on the scene. At the time‚ police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said police had to persuade the attacker to hand himself over.

"He ignored the calls and tried to attack police. He was shot and killed in the process‚" Traut said.

There was no initial indication that the attack was in any way linked to an attack on a mosque in Verulam‚ north of Durban‚ in May. One man was killed in the Durban incident‚ and two others were critically injured after three men stormed the building shortly after afternoon prayers.


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