Musallis at the Zeenatul Islam Masjid have been left shaken after the attempted robbery on Tuesday Photo Pexels
Kensington – A robbery at the Zeenatul Islam Masjid in Kensington, Johannesburg was foiled when a congregant shot two of the suspects resulting in their deaths. The incident took place on Tuesday night around 9pm.
An unknown number of suspects entered the masjid while the Esha (night prayer) prayer was taking place. There was a commotion at the entrance of the masjid which caught the attention of one of the congregants, explained Qari Moosa Seedat, Director of Zeenatul Islam Masjid. The first shooting then occurred.
“There was a commotion at the entrance of the masjid which is at the back. The commotion was such that the musalli (congregant) terminated his salaah. There was shuffling taking place with another muslli at the entrance because there were people that wanted to come in only to realise that they had guns in their hands. As this one brother told the musallis to lay down or run out of the masjid from the front door, a shot was fired. Immediately a musalli also shot at the robbers and one robber died on the scene outside the masjid. The second one was also shot. He was critical and we are told by the police that during the course of that night he had died.”
The second shooting outside of the masjid
They found keys on one of the suspects which led them to a car that had false number plates and a false registration. This is what led the congregation and police to suspect there were more than two people involved in the robbery. Around an hour later, while police were at the scene, a second shootout took place. A cop and a fellow musalli were injured, said Seedat. The robbers were amongst the onlookers who watched as the police worked the scene.
“After about an hour another incident took place where one of them was identified by the police and as he was being apprehended there was a shootout again and there were many bullets flying around. One police officer was shot and a Muslim brother who was also helping the police and the JMPD was also shot.”
Seedat confirmed the musalli that was shot was discharged from the hospital but he has a bullet in his leg which will be removed at a later date.
The help of the Muslim community
Over the past few months there have been robberies at various places of worship. Towards the end of last year a church and a mosque was robbed. In the aftermath of the robbery, many have reached out to Seedat to help the mosque and those who were there during the robbery. Seedat wished to thank everyone who called to assist.
“Since this incident took place we were inundated with telephone calls from the Muslim community wanting to help in any way. We are so thankful to the Muslim community for their generosity and their support. Not only financially but in any other way. Also, we have Muslim counsellors who do counselling. They have approached us on a pro bono basis. They would like to do counselling for Muslims that need the counselling.”
One suspect has been arrested and two cases of murder and attempted murder, as well as attempted business robbery have been opened for further investigations.
To hear more from Qari Moosa Seedat said about the robbery and new security measures that will come into effect, listen to the podcast here