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DHA, MJC host workshop for Muslim undertakers

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The Department of Home Affairs (DHA), in facilitation with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) recently hosted a workshop for death registrars and Muslim undertakers in a bid to ensure the laws of the country are being adhered to during the burial process of deceased Muslims.

The workshop follows two meetings held at the MJC offices over the past month, which sought to clarify the regulations of the DHA and the City of Cape Town in relation to the burial of individuals. However, many undertakers sought more clarity on the newly implemented laws, spurring the DHA to host a workshop.

One of the major points of the new regulations is the stance the City of Cape Town will now take with regards to paperwork. Burials will not only be allowed unless a death certificate has been obtained from the DHA. The DHA will in turn set up a contact desk to fast-track the waiting period for death certificates, so long as the names of deceased are forwarded to the MJC.

MJC secretary-general, Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie said the DHA had taken into account the requirement of Muslim burials to be conducted at the soonest possible occasion; hence undertakers would have a 72-hour period in which to make sure they register a burial they have conducted.

“This will eradicate any form of foul play, corruption and will also make sure laws are strictly adhered to by all the funeral undertakers,” he said.

Allie reiterated that much of the focus sought to eradicate corruption, with the facilitator of the workshop sketching several real life scenarios in which individuals attempted to con the burial system. This included declaring individuals deceased whilst they were still very much alive, in a bid to qualify for special government pensions, or other sources of funding.

“We are citizens in the country and whilst we would want government to recognise that we have a certain set (of regulations) as far as our religion is concerned, equally as citizens we have to abide by the laws and regulations,” he stressed.

Focus was also directed at foreign nationals with refugee status in the country, and how undertakers and death registrars need proceed in such situations.

Manuals were distributed to all in attendance with relevant contact details to the DHA, for burial workers seeking further assistance. Those not in attendance are advised to contact the MJC to acquire a manual. Individuals are required to provide some documentation to prove their status as a funeral undertaker.

For more information, contact the MJC at 021 684 4600. VOC

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