Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Hajj and Umrah Operators in South Africa

Latest News & Updates for Hajj and Umrah Operators in South Africa

Haj: tabloid must apologise

Published by Voice of the Cape on Thursday, 15 December 2011
A daily tabloid newspaper has been slapped on the wrist by the Press Ombudsman after it published three scathing articles about a local haj operator whom it accused of scamming one hujaaj of his haj money. In October this year, the Daily Voice newspaper reported that Aslam Toefy from Dhuyufullah Haj and Umrah Travel had stolen R78 000 from Abdullah Damon, for a haj package he did not deliver as promised.

Gulf International Tours fights to clear name

Published by Voice of the Cape on Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Local travel agent, Gulf International Tours (GIT), has distanced itself from any individuals trading under its name who have allegedly taken hujjaj to Makkah this year or accepted money or passports for haj visas that would have been sourced outside the official haj quota. Speaking to VOC on Tuesday, the company who had not been accredited for haj this year, said it was pursuing legal action to protect its good name from any "unscrupulous" practises that have allegedly been commited in its name.

Emotions high as hajis return

Published by Voice of the Cape on Monday, 14 November 2011
Smiles and warm embraces greeted the 50 pilgrims that arrived from the Saudi Kingdom on Monday at Cape Town International airport viaTurkish Airlines. The hujjaj, travelling with the Al Anwar Haj group, were welcomed by a massive crowd of 300 people, who flooded the international arrival terminal and emotions ran high as they welcomed their loved ones back.

The airport terminal was packed at 10am the morning as hundreds of family members waited in anticipation for their loved ones, some crying as the glowing hujjaj walked through the terminal doors. Amongst the 50 hujaaj were VOC presenter, Jamiel Wallace, and his wife Faghma, trust member Yusuf Bailey and some of the station's sponsored hujjaj.

Khidmatul Awaam hajis finally home

Published by Voice of the Cape on Monday, 14 November 2011
The last of the 72 Khidmatul Awaam (KA) hujjaj who were missed their flight due to a bungle with busses in the Kingdom, finally arrived home on Monday, the operator confirmed. There were mixed reactions from the hujjaj who arrived back on SA soil three days later than expected. For some of them, the delay had a positive spin as it gave them more time in the holy city of Makkah.

Speaking to VOC on Monday, newly returned Mohamed Aqeel Kader, said to him the experience was a "blessing". "We were five minutes late and therefore missed our flight, but KA, Sahuc and the Muassassah immediately came forward and took care of the 72 of us." He said the Muassassah ensured that they were cared for in every possible way.

KA hujjaj enroute

Published by Voice of the Cape on Sunday, 13 November 2011
After a two day delay brought on by a bungle with busses, 72 hujjaj from Khidmatul Awaam (KA) left Jeddah on Saturday evening on three separate flights. According to both the haj operator and Shaheen Essop, secretary general of the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc), the hujjaj were due to land at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg by Sunday morning.

A total of 84 South Africans were due to have left Jeddah on Thursday, but busses laid on by the Muassasah arrived late in Azzizia to take the pilgrims to Jeddah airport. There was a second bungle when the driver took them to the wrong terminal and as a result, the group missed their flight home. However, 12 other hujjaj from Rasools Travel who were on the same flight, did manage to make the flight and travelled on to Cape Town on Friday.

72 SA hujjaj delayed

Published by Voice of the Cape on Friday, 11 November 2011
Although the first two groups of South African hujjaj arrived safely at OR Tambo in Johannesburg on Thursday, a group of 72 pilgrims travelling with Khidmatul Awaam (KA) was less fortunate. While the group had been ready to depart from Azzizia outside Makkah by 8am, the busses that had been sent by the Muassasah to collect them and take them to Jeddah airport failed to arrive on time. As a result, the group missed their return flight home at 6pm on Ehtihad Airline and now have an anxious wait for alternate flights.

"A total of 84 South Africans had been scheduled to be on the Ehtihad flight on Friday evening, but only the 12 from Rasools Travel managed to get to the airport in time to make the flight," secretary general of the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc), Shaheen Essop, reported on Friday morning. "The problem was due to a small bungle by the Muassasah who should have sent a bus at 5am to collect the hujjaj. Instead, the bus only arrived at 12pm."

2 SA hujjaj pass away

Published by Voice of the Cape on Sunday, 6 November 2011
Two South African hujjaj passed away immediately after the day of Arafat, a day when Muslims believe that all pilgrims are cleansed of all sins after begging for forgiveness at the climax of the annual haj. Hajja Amina Goodman of Eastride Mitchells Plain (76), who had been one of VOC's five sponsored hujjaj travelling with Al Anwar, passed away in the early hours of this morning.

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.

We are clean: Dhuyufullah

Published by Voice of the Cape on Wednesday, 26 October 2011
"We only deal with Sahuc visas. We do not accept any other visas other than those given to us on accreditation by the regulator." That was how Aslam Toefy from Dhuyufullah Haj and Umrah Tours tried to clear his name, after being pinned as one of the errant haj operators in the haj visas debacle. Toefy was responding to questions surrounding the ongoing fracas in the haj industry that prompted one aggrieved pilgrim to speak out in a local tabloid paper.

2nd SA death on haj

Published by Voice of the Cape on Monday, 24 October 2011
A second South African pilgrim passed away this weekend shortly after arriving in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for haj. On Saturday the South African Hajj and Umrah Council's (Sahuc) haj mission in the Kingdom confirmed the death of 65-year-old Fuad Abrahams who had been with the Travel Unlimited group. His death comes nine days after the death of the first South African, 65-year-old Mogamat Armien Haroun of the Strand who passed away in Madina. He was travelling with his wife and daughter in the Al Mujaahiedeen Haj & Umrah Travel group.