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Police arrest two for Muslim man’s murder

One man was arrested in Hartbeespoort, North West province, on Saturday. The second man handed himself to Magaliesburg police on Sunday morning, accompanied by his lawyer, North West premier Thandi Modise said in a statement issued by her office.

Both were expected to appear in the Magaliesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

"We commend our police for the speedy arrest and look up to our courts for the law to take to take its course," Modise said.

Mohammed Fayaaz Kazi (27) from Ventersdorp and his father's friend Anser Mahmood were attacked at a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg on Monday.

Mahmood said two white, Afrikaans-speaking men made fun of Kazi's beard and insulted them.

Kazi, who understood Afrikaans, confronted the two men and a fight broke out. Both Kazi and his friend were attacked and the two white men fled the scene. Kazi later died in Potchefstroom Hospital.

'Too scared to help'
On Sunday Rapport quoted Trevor Buthelezi, a waiter at a local restaurant, as saying: "A large, white man of over 100kg kicked and hit Kazi and Mahmood for about 20 minutes … A crowd gathered, but everyone was too scared to help.

"Someone called the police, but before they arrived, a motorist stopped and pulled the man off him [Kazi]."

According to Rapport, there were two police officers at the scene, but they refused to help because they said they were off-duty.

The killing resulted in an outpouring of condolences, outrage, and calls for the alleged killers to be arrested.

The Media Review Network (MRN) on Sunday welcomed news of the arrest. It called on all law enforcement agencies to be especially vigilant in regard to crimes related to racism, religious bigotry, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.

"It is unfair and beyond comprehension that the victim of atrocious violence dies at the hands of a bigot for no reason other than being profiled a Muslim," the MRN said.

Police were not immediately available to confirm the arrests. – Sapa

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Sapa
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