The family of the man who died following an attack at a Durban mosque on Thursday, are battling to come to terms with his untimely death.
Abbas Essop, 35, was one of three men critically wounded when three knife-wielding men stormed the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa. The attackers then allegedly threw a petrol bomb into the building before fleeing.
Essop and the other men were rushed to hospital. However, Essop succumbed to his wounds.
His elder brother, Farouk, said his brother succumbed to his injuries on arrival at hospital.
“Abbas owned a motor workshop across the road from the mosque. He heard screams coming from the mosque and ran to investigate the commotion. He was concerned about the moulana and the caretaker. Little did he know he was walking into an ambush ” said Farouk.
He said when the suspects arrived at the mosque, the moulana called him (Farouk), telling him they were being attacked.
“The moulana was panic-stricken. He had tried Abbas on his phone and could not reach him. I then called Abbas’s cellphone and his friend answered. He had left the phone at the workshop. The friend said he had gone to the mosque. Little did I know that my brother had been attacked so brutally.”
Farouk said they did not know what the motive was at this stage.
“There are so many conflicting stories right now. We hope to get the facts of what happened in coming days.”
He said funeral arrangements had not been finalised as their mother was on holiday in Bali.
“Abbas’s heart was as big as his body he would help anyone at anytime ”
He is survived by his wife, two children – aged five and one – and four siblings.