At least two people have been killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack at a mosque in Malmesbury in the Western Cape in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Western Cape police confirmed that the attacker was shot dead by police.
“A couple of hours ago – about 03:00 – as people got themselves ready to pray, the suspect just got up and started stabbing the people. He was praying with them,” Malmesbury Police Constable Henry Durant told News24.
There was no warning that the suspect, believed to be a foreign national, was about to commit the violent crime.
“There was an old man and he tried to cut the old man’s head off and the man died. Other people went to the Swartand hospital,” said Durant from the scene.
Police officers approached the suspect, who refused to lay down his knife and threatened the officers.
“This guy was not in a hurry – he was very calm – he did not run, he walked away. He had a big Rambo knife.”
Durrant said police officers shot the suspect dead.
There is no identified motive for the crime yet.
“We don’t know anything. There is no information, there is no motive, there’s nothing like that,” said Durant.
The Muslim Judicial Council said it was “shocked to its core” to learn about the attack on the Malmesbury Masjied.
“We can confirm that two people have been killed whilst in I’tikaaf and another regular musallee of the Masjied injured.”
“We do not have any further details as yet but we urge the community not to jump to any conclusions until clarity can be given,” the MJC said.