The man responsible for the death of two men at a mosque in Malmesbury on 14 June has been identified as a runaway psychiatric patient. The attack left the Muslim community in shock, and was seen as an act of mindless violence. The knife wielding perpetrator entered the mosque and randomly attacked people during the morning prayers.
Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, told TimesLIVE that the suspect was identified as 23-year-old Nur Arawal – and confirmed that he was a psychiatric patient.
“He was an outpatient at Bellville’s Karl Bremer Psychiatric Hospital from 2013 until recently.”
There is no further information on what he was being treated for at the institution.
Mulaudzi indicated that the circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation. The suspect was shot by police as he charged at them with a knife.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said, police were shocked to find the attacker still at the scene, and when they tried to coax him into handing himself over, it resulted in his death.
According to Traut, he ignored the calls and tried to attack the police and was shot and killed in the process.
On May 10, a similar attack on a mosque occurred in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal. During this incident, a man was killed and several other injured when three suspects attacked them during their afternoon prayer. There has been no link found between the mosque attack in Malmesbury and the attack in Verulam.