Qaanitah Hunter| Cii News| 12 October 2012
The South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) will not be mandated to issue hajj visas and travel documents for Ahmed and Aziza Abrahams, the South Gauteng High Court ruled on Friday.
The pair’s hajj accreditation was revoked by SAHUC on the premise that they lied in their registration.
In handing down the judgment, Judge Kgomo made reference to the argument presented by SAHUC lawyers that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is solely responsible for the issuing of Visas.
Kgomo thus struck the matter of the roll, meaning it will not be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Lawyer for SAHUC, Advocate Yusuf Saloojee, argued that visas are issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia via the embassy to SAHUC.
Therefore he argued that SAHUC cannot be ordered to issue the visas.
Attorney Zehir Omar, representing the Abrahams’ counter argued that the initial visas allocated for the pair should be restored.
Kgomo noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could not be joined to the case as per the request of Saloojee as they enjoy full immunity as they are a sovereign country.
He further said that he would like to see an amicable solution found between the two parties.
“It is a sad day to see fights of this kind within the close knit Muslim community,” Kgomo said.
Responding to the judgment, attorney Yousha Tayob, who was acting on behalf of SAHUC, said they are satisfied with the outcome.
“The case is over from our side but it is up to the applicants to take the matter further,” he said.
Omar said that they will re-enroll the matter for next Tuesday.
“We will try everything in our power to ensure that the pair goes for hajj,” he said.
Friday’s hearing formed part A of the case against SAHUC.
Part B involves allegations of corruption against SAHUC and requests the director of public prosecutions to investigate the organisation.
This matter will be heard in 4 weeks time.