The Council of Muslim Theologians has described as barbaric and racist an incident in which people broke into a Mosque in Potchefstroom and smeared the prayer room with blood before leaving two pig heads in it.

“The Jamiatul Ulama has learnt with sadness of the news of the desecration of a mosque in Potchefstroom… such contempt for a place of worship is an act of barbarism which cannot be condoned in a diverse society like ours that is built on mutual respect and understanding,” the council said on Friday.

The September 14 incident was orchestrated by people who “belong to a mindset of the past to which the majority of the people of South Africa said ‘never again'”.

“We join all faith groups as well as the Bishop Desmond Tutu Diversity Trust in unequivocally condemning this act especially at a time other incidents of racism and intolerance have been linked to the town,” the council said.

North West police spokesman Captain Mvula Chaka confirmed the incident, saying police were yet to arrest the perpetrators. “This incident appears to have happened at night because when the caretaker went to bed at 9pm that night everything was fine. But when he woke up to pray at 3am he was surprised to find two pig heads in the prayer room and blood smeared on the walls.

“It appears the perpetrator gained entry into the Mosque by breaking a window,” he said.