SA terror victim laid to rest

James Thomas has been laid to rest after he was shot dead in the Nairobi mall attack.

A woman holds a programme at the funeral service for James Thomas, the 57-year-old Cape Town man killed in the attack on the Westgate mall in Kenya. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Relatives of the Cape Town man killed in the Nairobi Westgate Mall terror attack say he will continue to live on in their memories.

James Thomas was laid to rest on Wednesday at Bishops College in Rondebosch, with over 1000 people in attendance.

The 57-year-old was on a business trip to Kenya when he was shot and killed by al-Shabaab militants who launched a deadly attack on the mall last month.

Over 60 people were killed in the attacks.

Thomas was described as a devoted Christian father and husband by those he left behind.

His wife of more than 30 years said she was angry and struggling to deal with her loss.

"As I stand here today, I do not intend to preserve my dignity and reputation. And I do not intend to pretend that the murder of James has not rocked my entire world."

His son said, "Dad was a brilliant supporter. Many of our school friends have already commented on how present he was at school events by hardly missing a sports match."

Thomas's humour and passion for life was a common thread in the eulogies delivered by his family.

His son-in-law Scott Lee-Jones walked the 1,300-strong congregation down a memory lane in honour of his life, highlighting things that would be remembered fondly.

"We also will remember his ability to body-surf any wave he chose, hands above his head, gracefully surfing in."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu also attended the funeral.


African Union (AU) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has called for religious tolerance in the wake of the attack.

She made the call after delivering the 14th annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town on Wednesday.

Dlamini-Zuma described the incident as horrific.

"We hope that it will never happen again, to anyone, to any country. It is worrying that something so horrific can happen in the name of religion."