Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Friends of the Hujjaj

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Imraahn Mukaddam (Convenor)

Recent Updates

    Advocacy groups question SAHUC's mandate

    Published by Channel Islam on Wednesday, 9 November 2011

    As the sacred pilgrimage of Hajj draws towards an end this year, the fiasco in South Africa regarding Hajj lives on.

    There has been a call for the disbandment of self appointed regulator, TheSouth African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) by Hajj advocacy groups Hajj Watch and Friends of the Hujjaj

    Friends of the Hujjaj starts class action

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Friday, 28 October 2011
    By Friday morning when the Saudi airports closed and the final South African hujjaj left for the Kingdom a day earlier, consumer activist group Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) had still not heard word from the SA government with whom it had engaged this week in order to obtain visas for under 100 As Saabireen hujjaj.

    According to FotH representative, Jakes Rawat from Hajj Watch, the collective met with the Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO) on Wednesday and wrote a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to provide relief visas for the remaining hujjaj who still hope to travel with As Sabireen."We are still waiting on news, but at this stage, we are not hopeful. However, we continue making dua for a favourable outcome," he related on Friday morning.

    Focus unchanged: FotH

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Monday, 24 October 2011
    A VOC article filed on Thursday evening questioning if the focus on the haj visa debacle had changed with all the emphasis now being on allowing unaccredited hujjaj travelling with an unaccredited operator to perform haj, drew sharp criticism from Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) and Hajj Watch. In a response to the article, FotH spokesperson, Imraahn Mukaddam denied that the focus had changed, charging that the question was "clearly a distortion of the facts". This view was ecchoed on Facebook by Hajj Watch.

    Friends of the Hujjaj seeks out Dirco

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Thursday, 20 October 2011
    While the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) has made it clear that it would not be able to assist in getting additional visas for the 84 hujjaj from As Saabireen Travel, Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) told VOC on Wednesday that they remained hopeful that the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) might be able to use its diplomatic muscle to seek a solution that would allow the pilgrims to leave before the haj season closes in less than a week.

    Anti-Sahuc fervour at meeting

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Wednesday, 19 October 2011
    Emotions ran high once more at the second meeting of Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) held in Silvertown on Tuesday evening where some 200 disgruntled hujjaj who had incurred massive losses when their haj packages failed to materialise gathered again to seek a way forward. The meeting was dominated by a groundswell of anger after the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) indicated that it was unable to facilitate FotH's request to intervene for an additional quota.

    Logistics bad for more quota

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Tuesday, 18 October 2011
    It would be very tough logistically to fulfill a request made by Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) for the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) to intervene in order to request additional haj visas for those South African pilgrims who had applied directly to the Saudi Haj Ministry. That was the view of Sahuc secretary general, Shaheen Essop, speaking to VOC on Sunday after both Sahuc and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) were called upon to intervene for hujjaj who had hoped to travel with the As Saabireen Travel group.

    Friends of the Hujjaj holds 2nd meeting

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Tuesday, 18 October 2011
    A week after their first meeting in Athlone where they were given a mandate to act on behalf of disgruntled hujjaj who had been negatively affected by the haj visa scam exposed two weeks ago on VOC, Friends of the Hujjaj are set for a second meeting on Tuesday evening. According to spokesperson, Imraahn Mukaddam, the second public meeting will look at feedback, further discussions and a way forward. The meeting is set to take place at 19h30 at the ex-Service Men's Hall in Petunia Street Silvertown, behind the Sarah Fox Children's Center.

    Pressure is working: FotH

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Thursday, 13 October 2011
    The newly formed haj consumer group, Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) have celebrated the resolution of the 3,000 accredited haj visas, saying that whatever pressure they have been exerting to ensure justice for the accredited hujjaj who had been deprived due to the haj visa scandel had worked. "But we don't claim the credit for it. That praise and honour belongs to the Almighty," FotH spokesperson, Imraahn Mukaddam told VOC's Open Lines on Tuesday. The comment came after it was announced that the last 14 accredited hujjaj had been cleared to received their haj visas on Wednesday.

    Tempers flare at haj meeting

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Wednesday, 12 October 2011
    Concerned organizations consisting of the National Consumer Forum, Hajj Watch, community policing forums and the South African Public Hajj Association united on Tuesday night at a meeting, to form the new group, Friends of the Hujjaj (Sadeequl Hujaaj). The group aims to assist pilgrims who have been victims of alleged corruption, malpractices, misrepresentation and unlawful conduct within the haj industry.

    Furious and traumatised hujjaj voiced their opinions on the haj operators who they claim have been unjust in their visa dealings and haj travel packages. An enraged Abu-bakr Davids was blunt, describing himself as "gatvol" (fedup) with haj regulator, the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc). He proposed that the organisation be investigated.

    Mandate achieved: Friends of the Hujjaj

    Published by Voice of the Cape on Wednesday, 12 October 2011
    The meeting held in Athlone on Tuesday evening following the haj visa scandal "exceeded expectations" and resulted in a clear mandate being given for the newly formed Friends of the Hujjaj (FotH) to proceed with action on behalf of hujjaj who have been negatively affected by the issue. That was according to Imraahn Mukaddam, speaking to VOC's Breakfast Beat on Wednesday morning.

    However, the group seems to have had a change of heart on its membership after VOC raised questions about the role of alleged errant operators on board. Asked about its membership, Mukaddam said FotH was mainly spearheaded by two consumer bodies - the National Consumer Forum and advocacy group, Hajj Watch. On Tuesday VOC reported that As Sabireen had confirmed that they were part of the group while Gulf International Tours strongly denied being part of the group, stating that any individuals claiming to belong to this company in joining FotH had done so fraudulently and would face legal action.