- The ANC has called the attack on the Imam Husain Mosque in Verulam a ‘ghastly and vicious’ crime condemning it as a violation of the constitution
- The attack which took place on Thursday left one dead and two critically injured after unknown assailants attacked worshippers with knives
- One man, Abbas Essop, was killed by knife-wielding attackers as he tried to help fellow worshipper, Muhammed Ali, who had been stabbed during the attack on Thursday
The African National Congress (ANC) said on Saturday that it will never allow freedom of religion and belief, as enshrined in the Constitution, to be trampled on.
Briefly.co.za gathers from reports that the ruling party announced their condemnation of the attack in a statement on Saturday.
"The African National Congress condemns in the strongest terms the ghastly and vicious attack on a mosque in Verulam, Durban [on Thursday afternoon]," said ANC spokesman Pule Mabe.
In terms of the South African Constitution, every citizen has a guaranteed right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, and opinion, and the ANC in it’s announcement said any attack on a mosque or any other place of worship should be condemned in the strongest terms as an effort seeking undermine this fundamental right.
"We wish to warn the savage, merciless, and barbaric perpetrators of this crime that this country will never bow down to extremism. The Bill of Rights, as enshrined in our Constitution, guarantees freedom of religion and belief for every person to ensure tolerance finds expression in our communities. We will never allow these freedoms to be trampled on."
"We call on the Hawks, who are heading this investigation, to prioritise this brutal crime and act swiftly in bringing these heartless savages to justice. Such extremism must never find expression in this country. We wish Imam Ali Nchinyane and Muhammad Ali a speedy recovery. Our deepest condolences go to the family of the courageous Essop Abbas who paid the ultimate price in service of others," said Mabe.
Essop died while trying to help Ali, who had been stabbed in the stomach during Thursday's attack.
According to police Police said that at around 2pm, three unknown men entered the mosque on the Old Main Road in Ottawa, Verulam, at around 2pm after the midday prayer.
The assailants reportedly set certain rooms alight and fled in a getaway vehicle described at the time as a White Hyundai Getz.
KZN acting police commissioner, Maj-Gen Bheki Langa, said a team of investigators had been dispatched to solve the case and bring the perpetrators to book.
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