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PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, April 13, 2001: The South African Indian community is shocked by the theft of brass murthis, or temple deities, that were stolen from the Mariamman Temple. The Pretoria Tamil League has offered a reward of US$300 for the safe return of the idols, which were imported from India. Police suspect that the five idols and three brass lamps were stolen from the temple by thieves who sell metals such as copper and brass to scrap metal dealers. The temple is never kept locked to enable 24-hour worship access to Tamils who were forced to move from the area by apartheid segregation laws. In 1984, the temple was declared a South African national monument, and two years ago it had undergone a major renovation.