Hawks take over Malmesbury mosque attack probe

Two worshippers were stabbed to death and two others were injured in the attack on Thursday morning.

A member of the bomb disposal unit inspects a bag belonging to the Malmesbury mosque attacker on 14 June 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Hawks have now taken over the investigation into a deadly knife attack at a Malmesbury mosque.

Two worshippers were stabbed to death and two others were injured in the attack on Thursday morning. The assailant was shot dead by police after he apparently tried to attack officers.

While the police have yet to release further details about the attack, the Somali community board says it has identified the assailant.

VIDEO: Malmesbury community shocked by mosque attack

The board's chairperson Amir Sheikh says the man was a Somali national who previously worked as an informal trader in Bellville.

Sheikh also claims the attacker had a history of mental illness and was on medication at the time of the incident.

“This is confirmed by our provincial office in the Western Cape who knew him, not only recently but even when he was medically fit and selling goods in Bellville.”

This has yet to be confirmed by the Hawks.

Meanwhile, both worshippers killed in the attack were buried according to Muslim rites on Thursday night.

The Hawks’ investigation into the motive behind the attack continues.

The attack comes a month after a separate incident at a mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal where tree men stormed the place of worship, killing one person and injuring others.

LISTEN: 'Malmesbury mosque attack not a reflection of SA Muslim community'

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)