The Muslim Judicial Council’s (MJC) Halaal Trust is concerned The Greek Fisherman restaurant at the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront produced an outdated and invalid halaal certificate to patrons to substantiate that they are “halaal-friendly”.
“We were alerted to the post, which was published on Cape Town Halaal’s Instagram and Facebook account this morning (Tuesday, 17 April) after its administrator reviewed the restaurant and claimed it was halaal-friendly, because the manager produced an MJC halaal certificate,” said MJC Halaal Trust director, shaykh Achmat Sedick.
“On further investigation, we noted the picture shown was a photocopy of an outdated 2017 certificate issued to Busy Corner Meat Wholesalers. Busy Corner Meat Wholesalers said they have had no dealings with The Greek Fisherman restaurant,” Sedick continued.
After contacting The Greek Fisherman, they first confirmed Busy Corner Wholesalers as their supplier and later called back to say they purchase their meat from another supplier who is also halaal certified under another authority.
The post was subsequently retracted from Cape Town Halaal’s social media accounts.
In response, The Greek Fisherman manager Georgina Protoulis said the restaurant was never directly certified by an halal authority. She said the restaurant bought its meat from a halal supplier, which sent them a halal certificate as proof of certification. But when asked about the outdated certificate, she explained that there might have been a mistake.
“The manager on duty must’ve picked up the incorrect document from the file,” she said.
She explained that the restaurant currently buys its meat from Sparta Foods in the Free State, which is certified by the South African National Halal Authority. This certificate was sent to VOC News via email.
“We are halaal friendly in that all our meat is halaal and we buy only from halaal suppliers. We have absolutely no pork on the premises,” she stated.
But according to the MJC Halaal Trust, Busy Corner had never done business with the restaurant. It has questioned how the restaurant came to be in possession of the certificate.
Protoulis responded: “We had wanted to purchase meats from Busy Corner and at the time, asked them for proof to show that they are in fact halal certified. They sent the copy to us. In the end, we never ended up buying meat from them but that copy was in one of our files and that must have been mistakenly shown by one of the managers. It’s an honest mistake…”
The Halal Trust reiterated that restaurants cannot be in possession of halal certification documents if their premises and operation is not certified.
The MJCHT added that it will never certify a restaurant that serves alcohol.
“We do not recognize the term “halaal friendly” and only certify businesses after a thorough inspection has been made and all criteria has been approved,” said Sedick.
“We urge the community to only frequent places that display a valid 2018 halaal certificate (no copies are allowed) with the business name and not the supplier’s name listed on it.”
The MJC Halaal Trust is currently investigating how the restaurant got hold of the certificate and may pursue legal action.
Should you have any queries on halaal certified outlets, please contact the MJC Halaal Trust on 021-684-4600.[Source: MJC]