The Muslim Judicial Council has made formal submissions to exempt the athaan from being considered a Noise Nuisance under the City of Cape Town’s by-laws.
This is according to the MJC’s secretary General Sh Zaid Dante, following uproar over the matter. The GOOD party accused the DA-led government of failing to fulfill a commitment made in 2019, that protects the athaan and other religious sounds, from being silenced or committees facing fines. While the DA denies trying to criminalize the athaan, the GOOD party’s Brett Heron questioned the delay and need for further engagements, saying the party neglected to act on the latest amendment opportunity.
Meanwhile, after meeting with the relevant officials yesterday, the MJC’s SG confirmed that a formal process is under way to amend the by-law and prevent further complaints of this nature. City councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe reiterated that by-law in no way impacts the athaan and condemned the misinformation being spread on social media. Nqavashe says that while police will be obligated to respond to complaints, they do not have the right to shut down any religious institution.
He explained that only the assessment of an appointed environmental practitioner can act as evidence to do so, which forms part of a procedural process.