CAPE TOWN, South Africa's Muslim Judicial Council has expressed concern at what appears to be the targeting of Muslim businessmen in Cape Town, following the alleged abduction of a prominent businessman, Liyaqat Parker, here this week.
Parker, the founding member of the Foodprop Group, was allegedly snatched outside his business premises in Parow on Monday. The 65-year-old businessman was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint.
Police say it is believed that Parker was driving into the basement parking area when the suspected kidnappers struck. A security guard was forced into a toilet at gunpoint.
Parker is the founding member of the Foodprop Group which owns the Foodworld chain of supermarkets. The Cape Chamber of Commerce has condemned what it says appears to be a developing trend.
Another prominent businessman was kidnapped outside his business in Woodstock here a year ago.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce has called on business people to be more vigilant.
Chamber president Janine Myburgh says a spike in such incidents may deter investments. Should it continue and become the norm, I don't think now it will be a deterrent. But in the future if we have more of these kidnappings for ransom? Yes it will play a negative effect and it will stop high end business people from investing in our country.
The Muslim Judicial Council has appealed for Parker's safe return. A Council leader, Sheikh Riad Fataar, wants to meet with the police to discuss the matter.
The MJC does intend calling high level meetings because there is this feeling that Muslim businessmen are targeted and let me say generally in South Africa and in Western Cape Province we all feel scared for what is happening in terms of the violence that is out there.
The Parker family has appealed to the alleged captors to release him unharmed. Police say investigations are at a sensitive stage and they can't comment at this stage.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK