South Africa (illustrative)
South Africa (illustrative)Reuters

World Likud South Africa Chairman Sergio Kowensky, 67, was shot and killed near an air conditioner factory in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The shooting occurred on Tuesday, outside Kowensky's Serpini Air Conditioning factory. The murderers did not touch his cell phone, wallet, or vehicle.According to the South African Jewish Report, Kowensky was shot several times before being left for dead on the side of the road.

Kowensky, a staunch advocate for Israel and a prominent member of Johannesburg's Jewish community, was not an Israeli citizen. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in the small town of Moisés Ville in the province of Santa Fe, which was founded by Eastern European and Russian Jews escaping persecution in 1889.

Kowensky is survived by his wife Alison, and their three children, aged 32-42.

It is not yet clear if the shooting was criminal or anti-Semitic in nature.

On Friday, Kowensky's body was brought to Israel for burial. The funeral will be held at 12:30p.m. in Be'er Sheva.

The incident closely followed warnings by representatives of South Africa’s Jewish community who said they are seeing an uptick in anti-Semitic rhetoric in real life and on social media. Earlier this week, mural with a German flag and a swastika was painted on a Johannesburg wall.

Separately, another Jewish South African, Jeffrey Zetler, a 62-year-old strawberry farmer, was killed on June 23 near Stellenbosch, a city 31 miles east of Cape Town.

He was stabbed to death in an alleged robbery at the Mooiberge strawberry farm.