Muslims threaten hajj court action
Cape Town - Muslim organisations are threatening to take the international relations and co-operation department to court over its "failure" to manage South Africa's Mecca pilgrimage, according to a report on Friday.
The Cape Times reported that the Hajj Watch, The Friends of Hajj Watch and the Muslim Consumer Council said on Thursday it was government's duty to negotiate with Saudi Arabia over the number of local Muslims allowed to complete their pilgrimage.
They argued it was up to government to sign the agreement, even though the SA Hajj and Umrah Council had taken on this role.
Around 9 000 people had applied for Hajj this year, but last year only 3 000 had been allowed to travel, as dictated by the Saudi Hajj ministry.
The ministry recently implemented a system where only 1 000 people per million Muslims in a country would be allowed to go to Saudi Arabia. South Africa has about a million Muslims.
Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela was quoted in the report as saying: "The department has been engaging with all stakeholders on this issue. Now that they have made a public call, all issues and recommendations will be taken into consideration and we will respond."