The South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) has officially elected a new board this past weekend at the council’s annual general meeting. Sahuc AGM’s are normally closed, but members of the public are typically welcome to attend as observers – provided that they make the necessary arrangements. According to Shaheen Essop, the newly elected president of Sahuc, the AGM was well organised and all proceedings went smoothly.
The new Sahuc board consists of:
• Shaheen Essop – President
• Shaykh Adam Masheso – First deputy president
• Hafiz Ismail Kolvadia – Second deputy president
• Moaaz Casoo – Secretary general
• Hassan Faried Choonara – Assistant secretary-general
• Asif Essop – Treasurer
• Mohammed Maiter – Assistant treasurer
Three additional members elected to the board were: Sedick Steenkamp, Mohammad Groenewald and Moosa Seedat. More members are still to be welcomed, filling the remaining three vacancies on the Sahuc board. The vacant seats will be filled by the chairpersons of the regions yet to host their AGM’s.
“There is a nomination process open to people within the organisation. According to our [Sahuc] constitution, members of the board are elected from within the membership of Sahuc,” said Essop.
But the election of new office bearers is not without criticism. Some observers have questioned why the same officials have been re-elected and the lack of female representation at a board level.
According to Sahuc, females can join and member organizations must send them as representatives. Each organization sends its own two members. Currently, there are six females within Sahuc, two of them serving as the regional secretary and office-bearers.
“It is an open nomination process and whoever has the ability to lead the organisation or to join the board is welcome to get nominated for that particular position…We have an independent electoral officer who goes through the necessary processes, makes sure everything is in adherence to the constitution and proceeds with the election,” Essop responded.
Sahuc also published its summarised annual review of activities and audited financial statements for the year 2018 and 2019
Moving forward, Sahuc will now recommence Hajj preparations for the year 1441.
“We’ve already started on preparations for the ensuing year. People will see that the dynamic registration list has been publicised and that gives you an idea of your position in the queue.”
“If you are within the first two-and-a-half or three thousand on the list and you know you won’t be able to go for Hajj next year, perhaps inform Sahuc’s offices via email. Ask Sahuc to move you so that you, and we, can better plan,” urged Essop.
Accreditation for Hajj can be deferred three times.
However, prospective Hujjaj are reminded that when one does defer, you do not have to defer to the following year.
If the year is 1441 and you will only be able to perform hajj in 1443, Sahuc will allow that deferral until 1443 and will only count it as ONE deferral.