Onlookers gather around a man being treated for knife wounds at a mosque in Verulam that was attacked by three men on Thursday. Picture: RUSA

DURBAN - The Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) has expressed outrage and concern over an attack on worshipers which left one person dead at the Imam Hussain Mosque in Verulam on Thursday. 

Chairperson of the Security Cluster, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula instructed the National Joint Intelligence and Security Structure (NATJOINTS) probe the matter with “utmost priority”.

”It is particularly disturbing that this happened at a place of worship that is supposed to be a sanctuary where all people feel safe,” said Nqakula.

The minister said while information indicated that this was an isolated incident, the country’s law enforcement agencies are handling the matter seriously. 

Three unknown men entered the Shia mosque yesterday after the midday prayer. They allegedly attacked three people and stabbed them. They set certain rooms alight and fled in a getaway vehicle with no number plates.

“We plead with South Africans to remain calm and allow law enforcement agencies to investigate this crime. They should refrain from spreading unfounded and unsubstantiated rumours that the attacks might spread throughout the country. Such rumours only serve to create unnecessary fear that only plays into the hands of the perpetrators of this cowardly attack,” said Mapisa Nqakula.   

Nqakula urged members of the public with information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects to come forward and report it to the police.

The JCPS Cluster also sent condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and wished the other two victims attacked, a speedy recovery.