James Thomas, South African Consultant, Killed in Nairobi Mall Attack
James Thomas, 57, a training consultant from Cape Town, was one of three South Africans caught up in the terrorist attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday. He is the only one of the three who died.
He leaves behind two daughters and his wife, Colleen, a former music teacher. His daughter, Julie, had posted a photo of her and her father her Facebook page June 16 with the caption: “So lucky to have this man as my father 🙂 love you.”
He was a development specialist at Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. A statement made by the foundation reads “Beloved colleague, valued contributor and creative genius – James Thomas died in the Kenya shopping mall military attack. Our prayers go out to his family.”
Thomas was a warden of the St Peter’s Anglican Church in Mowbray, Cape Town. The church’s pastor and long-time friend of the family David Meldrum said via Facebook that the family greatly appreciates the outpouring of condolences, but requests privacy at this time.
He added: “Thank you for all your messages of love and support to me. I can’t reply personally to them, but I value them all.”
Thomas was with colleagues in the mall when the attack perpetrated by the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabab began. He was separated from his colleagues in a supermarket in the mall. His body was later identified at a morgue. His colleagues were all OK.
They had been training young entrepreneurs in Kenya.
Meldrum told eNCA: “He was an extreme extrovert, fun-loving, a people’s person who liked to see the best in others to help them develop their potential,” said Meldrum. “He wanted people to be the best they could be. He could not tolerate unemployment for himself or for others and wanted people to find their purpose and their calling.
”He had a real vision to see people, through their own potential and ability, work their way to something better.”
Articles on victims of the Westgate mall attack: