Police ruled out any extremist motive behind the June 14 attack, saying that the suspect, Nur Arawal, 23, has recently been released from a psychiatric hospital in Cape Town.
“The man had schizophrenia, we could not link him to any extremist or radical activity,” Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the Hawks police investigation unit, told AFP.
Arawal was shot dead by police at the mosque in Malmesbury, north of Cape Town, after entering the building carrying a knife and attacking worshippers.
He tried to charge police before being killed.
The incident occurred less than a month after another attack at a mosque, on the outskirts of the eastern port city of Durban.
Three unidentified assailants killed the mosque’s leader by slitting his throat and injured two others after midday prayers on May 10.
They also off a petrol bomb inside the mosque. They remain at large.
South Africa prides itself on religious tolerance and has been spared the extremist attacks that have dogged other countries in Africa. DM