Faizel Patel – 12/06/2020
The South African Travel and Haj Operators Association (SATHOA) says South African Muslims are shattered that they will not be able to embark on the blessed journey of hajj this year.
South African Hujjaj received the tragic news on Thursday when the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) announced that following it’s meeting with the International Relations Department that Hajj for South Africans has been cancelled.
International Relations minister, Naledi Pandor told Sahuc that South African borders are currently closed and will not be open for international commercial travel except for the repatriation of citizens under the current COVID-19 lockdown.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Sathoa’s Sheikh Imran Saban says while the cancellation of Hajj is indeed sad news, Allah is the best of planners.
“Even the greatest of Prophets (PBUT) were tested on these levels where they were disappointed and refused and tests came their way. Allah says at the times of difficulty and tests we must have patience, we must persevere and seek his help through patience and prayer.”
At the same time the South African Muslim Travel Association’s (SAMTA) Irshad Malek says the decision taken by Dirco for the cancellation of international travel which affects Hajj is in the best interests of all South Africans including the Hujjaj.
Malek says as Samta, they will make sure that Hujjaj are refunded what is due to them because of the cancellation of Hajj.
“We will be engaging vigorously to make sure the Mutamireen or the Hujjaj are not going to be short changed with any pentalties as far as possible.”
On Friday, Sahuc President Shaheen Essop told Radio Islam accredited hujjaj are going to be de-accredited and will slot back in the queue or waiting list according to their date and time of their application.
Listen to the interview with Sathoa’s Sheikh Imraan Saban
Listen to the interview with Samta’s Irshad Malek