A new leadership will now steer the South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) following elections at its Annual General Meeting on Sunday. Maulana Muhammad Vaid takes over the president position from Shaheen Essop, who is now deputy president. The previous head of the haj missions, Hafez Ismail Kholvadia was elected as the second deputy president.
Moaaz Casoo will take over as the secretary general, while Hassen Choonara will serve as his deputy. Asif Essop was appointed as Sahuc treasurer and Mohammad Maiter his deputy. Sedick Steenkamp from the Western Cape will also serve on the board as an additional member, and Qari Moosa Seedat. Three additional seats will be filled in the next 21 days.
Speaking to VOC on Monday, Maulana Vaid said he was delighted to be elected, but fully aware of the difficulties facing the haj industry.
“We have many challenges, but we want to enhance the processes already in place and also have more communication with the Muslim community to enable them to understand and respect the processes,” he said.
Essop says they welcome the new changes.
“Alhamdulillah, the new executives and the members of the board will endeavor to serve the hujjaj to the highest possible level in their term for the next two years.”
Essop says he and Choonara were re-elected by members to ensure continuity and providing the necessary support to the new incumbents at Sahuc.
For the next few months, Sahuc will be planning Hajj 1439. Two weeks ago, the regulator released a list of all hajj applicants who are registered on Sahuc’s system for hajj.
“This is not a registration but gives applicants where they are in the queue. This is a dynamic list which will fluctuate depending on certain reasons, as stated on our website,” he said.
“We will release a new accreditation list soon as the system undergoes an audit. We are also waiting for an invitation from the Saudi Kingdom to sign the protocols for hajj 1439, so the process can begin for next year’s haj, inshAllah.”