South African charged in deadly attack on family over pro-Palestine views

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A South African man appeared in court on Tuesday accused of stabbing to death a mother and of wounding her husband and son because of the family’s pro-Palestinian views.

Grayson Beare, 44, is charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder over the attack, which took place on Sunday in a suburb of the eastern city of Durban, prosecutors said.

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“The woman died, and her family members, who were also allegedly stabbed multiple times, were seriously injured,” said Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, a spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Beare was arrested at the crime scene -- the home of the victims -- in the early hours of Sunday “in possession of a blood-stained knife,” police said.

“The woman was declared dead at the scene and the two injured victims were rushed to a nearby hospital.”

Detectives initially said the motive of the violence was not clear.

But a 10-year-old survivor -- understood to be the woman’s daughter -- told investigators that “the suspect stated that he was stabbing them because they supported Palestine.”

In a video spreading online, Beare, who is seen in ankle shackles after his arrest in what appears to be a hospital, is heard saying he has family in Israel and linking the attack to his alleged victims’ views on the war in Gaza.

The NPA said the court had remanded the matter to next week “for bail investigation and for Beare to undergo mental assessment.”

The conflict in Gaza generated widespread public interest in South Africa, where the government has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause.

Pretoria has taken Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing it of “genocide” over its military campaign in the Palestinian territory.

The war was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 251 hostages, 120 of whom remain in Gaza, including 41 the Israeli army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory bombardment and ground offensive have killed at least 36,550 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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