An improvised explosive device was discovered at the Verulam mosque near Durban on Sunday night — the same mosque at which three people were attacked last week. TimesLive reported that the device is thought to have been targeted at the moulana, as it was placed underneath his chair.
The device, a white PVC pipe attached to a cellphone with wires, was reportedly dismantled by bomb technicians on Sunday night after the mosque was evacuated.
One man died and two others were injured during the attack last Thursday. Eyewitness News [EWN] reported that one man died in hospital and the two others were in a critical condition, after three men entered the mosque and attacked them with knives. The man who died had had his throat slit.
The suspects also reportedly set parts of the mosque alight. The motives for the attack remain unclear.
The man who died was trying to save the other two after hearing their screams.
News24 reported that several residences in the area were evacuated on Sunday night after a worshipper found the device.
Mosque chairman Azaad Seedat told TimeLive that worshippers were preparing the mosque for evening prayers when the device was spotted near the pulpit.
In an interview with TimesLive last week, Shia muslim cleric Ali Nchinyane, who survived the attack, said he was certain the attack was not a robbery.
"They wanted to kill me. They wanted my blood.
"Whether I was the target or our building was‚ I don't know... but I do know for certain that this was not a robbery; these men did not come here to steal things‚" he reportedly said.
"He said he wanted to kill me and I grabbed his knife. He shouted at me to let it go, and I told him that I would let go when he unhanded me. In that moment, I know he wanted to take my life."
Police minister Bheki Cele visited the mosque at the weekend, EWN reported. He also visited the family of the man who died.
"If people die through the grace of God because their time has come, it's fine. But this kind of thing is really devastating," Cele reportedly said.