Johannesburg – Police in Gauteng have reportedly launched a manhunt after seven unknown gunmen stormed a mosque in Lenasia, tied up a security guard on duty, and locked him in a guard room before helping themselves to valuables, including flat-screen plasmas and laptops.
EWN reported that the suspects allegedly scribbled anti-Islamic messages on the walls before fleeing.
Director of Vision Tactical, Yaseen Theba, expressed sadness over the rise in attacks on mosques in recent weeks in Gauteng.
“It’s sad that these mosques and essential bonds which connect our communities and the fabric of our society are being attacked, but again it’s another eye-opener that no one is free of crime,” the report quoted Theba as saying.
Last week, reports indicated that at least 20 Muslim worshippers were robbed at gunpoint during a prayer service in Kabokweni, Mpumalanga.
According to News24, about 15 heavily armed suspects stormed the mosque at around 13:20 during a prayer session on a Friday.
They held the worshippers at gunpoint and robbed them of their personal belongings, including cell phones.
The suspects also stole a Toyota Corolla with the license plate JRH 078 MP, which belonged to one of the worshippers, police said.
Following the incident, the police asked members of the community to keep an eye out for the suspects, whom they believed would be selling the stolen items, according to Sowetan Live.
“The only way to shut down the market for criminals is to stop buying stolen goods. Therefore, the public should come on board on this one,” the report quoted Mpumalanga provincial commissioner, Lieutenant- General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela as saying.
Compiled by Khaya Dondolo