Not busi­ness as usual as Veru­lam mosque re­pair to cost R1m

The Mercury - - NEWS - Bheki Mban­jwa

DAM­AGE es­ti­mated at R1 mil­lion was caused at the Imam Hus­sain Mosque in Veru­lam, out­side Dur­ban, af­ter a bloody at­tack which left one per­son dead and two oth­ers, in­clud­ing a moulana, in­jured last week.

This is ac­cord­ing to the chair­per­son, Azaad See­dat, who said re­pairs were now be­ing car­ried out.

“It is not busi­ness as usual at the mosque be­cause there is a lot of re­pair work that still has to be done,” he said.

Most of the dam­age was caused by the fire which started when the li­brary in­side the build­ing was al­legedly petrol-bombed by the at­tack­ers. Religious books, cup­boards and ceil­ings were dam­aged by the fire.

Hawks spokesper­son Sim­phiwe Mh­longo said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were still search­ing for the sus­pects who are wanted on mur­der and at­tempted mur­der charges.

Ab­bas Es­sop was killed in the at­tack af­ter his throat was slit, while the moulana and care­taker were both stabbed.

More ques­tions were raised on Sun­day af­ter an ex­plo­sive de­vice was found un­der the Min­bar (pul­pit) in­side the mosque. Asked about the in­gre­di­ents of the bomb dis­cov­ered on Sun­day, Mh­longo said he had not re­ceived the re­port.

The Hawks had con­firmed on Mon­day that the de­vice found at the mosque was a home-made ex­plo­sive which was meant to ig­nite a fire.

Mean­while the United Ulama Coun­cil of SA is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day con­demn­ing the at­tacks on the Shia mosque.

The coun­cil said the at­tacks fos­tered ten­sion and mistrust within com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is our sin­cere hope that author­i­ties will act swiftly in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter, ap­pre­hend­ing the sus­pects and suc­cess­fully pros­e­cut­ing the sus­pects in these griev­ous and vi­cious at­tacks,” the coun­cil said.

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