Alleged hijackers targeting Muslims at mosques during Ramadaan

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Alleged hijackers dressed in Muslim tops and fezzes carried out a daring hijacking while people were making Ramadaan salaah at a Cape Flats mosque.

But they didn’t get very far as alert neighbourhood watch members caught up to them.

Police say one of the alleged hijackers was caught and arrested, while two others are still at large.

The drama unfolded outside the Waterloo Road Masjid on the corner of Waterloo Road and Blanken Street in Kenwyn, just after 8:30pm on Monday.

Neighbours and worshippers who asked not to be identified say the victim had been making taraweeg salaah, but left the mosque before it ended to attend to a private matter when he was ambushed by three gunmen.

A member of Waterloo mosque explains: “It was around 8.30pm and we were still inside the mosque and heard a commotion outside.

“We also heard screaming. The man attends our mosque regularly.”

The alleged hijackers took his silver Hyundai Tucson SUV and wallet with an undisclosed amount of money in it.

The alleged hijackers’ joyride came to an end along Joanne and Wetton Road when community members cornered them.

They abandoned the car but one of them was caught by residents who assaulted him before cops arrived on the scene.

On Tuesday images of the bruised and handcuffed man in the back of a police van went viral on social media.

It is believed his accomplices made a run for Hanover Park after jumping over the wall of a business.

They also opened fire on a neighbourhood watch member but he was not injured.

A magazine from the alleged hijackers’ firearm was found in the hijacked car.

A neighbourhood watch member who was at the scene says the victim was armed but the alleged hijackers did not take his gun.

He said the men were dressed in tops and fezzes.

“The man’s wallet was taken with an undisclosed amount of money in it,” he says.

“They were dressed in robes, in Muslim attire.”

“Neighbourhood watch, police and the dog unit were on the scene.”

“They fired two shots at the neighbourhood watch, the magazines were recovered.”

He says they received information that the alleged hijackers had earlier tried to steal another car at a nearby mosque in Taronga Road, Crawford, but failed.

He says it now appears the alleged hijackers were targeting Muslims at mosques during Ramadaan.

“There should be an alert out sent out to people.”

“We urge residents to support their neighbourhood watch, we help to keep the streets safe.”

Comment from the South African Police Services was not available at the time of going to press late on Tuesday night.

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