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The body of James Thomas, the Cape Town man killed in the Kenyan mall attack last week, has arrived back in South Africa. He will be buried on Wednesday.
Thomas’s family confirmed yesterday that a post-mortem examination in Nairobi indicated he had been shot three times and had probably died instantly.
Thomas, 57, a married father of two, lived in Mowbray and was in Kenya to conduct an entrepreneurial training programme for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.
He was in the upmarket Westgate Mall when armed al-Shabaab gunmen stormed in, killing more than 60 people, and taking several hostages in the drama which lasted several days.
A statement issued on behalf of the family yesterday said Thomas’s body had arrived in the country on Friday night.
“This comes as a relief to the family, as the exact time of the arrival of James’s body could only be confirmed at the last minute. It also means that the funeral can go ahead next week as planned,” the statement said.
The family have also indicated they believe Thomas was among the first to die in the attack on the mall because of his proximity to the first gunshots.
“Our understanding is that the attack started in proximity to the supermarket, which means that James was one of the very first victims. He was shot three times and most likely died instantly,” his son-in-law Dr Scott Lee-Jones said.
The funeral will be held at the Bishops Diocesan College chapel at 4pm on Wednesday. - Weekend Argus