From the news desk

SAHUC launches Haj complaints process

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Despite what has been widely described as the most successful haj in recent memory, some pilgrims are likely to still bare personal grievances with the delivery of services from their respective operators. As a result, the South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) has announced the opening of its annual complaints process for Haj 1435, which will run between the 1st and 15th November.

All complaints are expected to be submitted in writing to Sahuc, who will follow the appropriate processes to address the pilgrim’s complaints.

Despite an overwhelming number of positive messages from this year’s group of hujjaj, Sahuc president, Shaheen Essop, said they could not expect all pilgrims to be 100% satisfied with the services they had received. As a result, the haj and umrah body would be designating special complaints committees in various regions across the country.

“We expect that we will receive complaints, and we’ve given them from the 1st November up until the 15th November for any complaints to reach Sahuc in writing. This must be accompanied by the necessary documentation and contracting,” he said.

All complaints will be expected to fully detail the nature of the individual’s grievance. The complaints can range anywhere from service delivery and contractual issues with the tour operator, to issues with Sahuc or its designated haj mission. This would be aimed at helping the body improve operations for next year’s pilgrimage.

The process itself will feature independent members of the legal fraternity, who will chair and oversee proceedings. Sahuc will attempt to mediate with the aggrieved party and the accused to try and bring about a solution. Should the issue not be resolved, Sahuc will allow the respective parties to enter an arbitration process.

“Prior to that arbitration starting, we will ask each of the parties to sign a document saying they accept the final verdict of the arbitrator,” he noted.

“Should the aggrieved party feel this is not the way to go, they will be told that they will need to proceed through a civil process instead.”

According to Essop, there would be stringent measures taken against any operator found guilty of breaching its code of conduct. This included leveling chargers against the operator from an internal perspective. Depending on the severity of the case, such charges could lead to anything from a fine, a suspended sentence, or even blacklisting from the accreditations process.

He stressed that it was vital for Sahuc to conduct the complaints process as early as possible, which would allow them to immediately switch focus to proceedings for next year’s haj.

“If we conclude this complaints process, simultaneously we are running our haj operator accreditation process. So if an operator is involved in a complaint or an arbitrary process, he or she may not be eligible for accreditation,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)


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3 comments

  1. slmz

    I think there should be a process whereby which Sahuc must also be accountable and submission from the hajjies that paid them for a service must be opened ,,as some of us neve ever used their services or saw them at all!

  2. “The following is a copy of a rebuttal sent to SAHUC in response to their bulletin issued on VOC on the 24/10/2014. Following on this I heard that my rebuttal will be ignored, their enigmatic way of sweeping any objections or criticism under the carpet. It becomes very evident that SAHUC is an absolute dictatorship as the Chairperson wants me to address my rebuttal to him personally and not to SAHUC.”

    The Chairperson
    SAHUC

    27 October 2014

    Assalaam u alaikum waragmatullahi wa barakah tu

    Dear Brother,

    Subject to the news bulletin issued by VOC dated 23/10/2014 in which SAHUC and Sathoa enter into a sililoquoy of self aggrandisement for the 2014 Haj. I can without impunity state that Hujaaj were not consulted and that the general consensus amongst the Hujaaj is that SAHUC is an abysmal failure. As delineated below they do not represent us South African Hujaaj but rather SAHUC (Saudi Arabian Haj and Umrah Council) as they do very little for South African Hujaaj and take no responsibility for anything affecting South African Hujajaj. They also have a habit of sweeping any criticism under the carpet.
    1. The clinic is a shambles – they dispense 1 antibiotic only whilst the recommended dosage is a course that should be dispensed over a period of 5 to 7 days.

    2. The medication is presented to Hujaaj in tissue paper this is extremely
    unhygienic and a cheap way of getting rid of us. It is recommended to use the excellent Saudi Government hospital for good service.

    3. We helped more of our Hujaaj colleagues with medication and our own
    Nebulizer as the Hujaaj in our group were hesitant to use SAHUC’s paltry services.

    4. SAHUC was situated in Azizia with no clinic in Mecca or any other assistance
    available to full stay Hujaaj.

    5. The only time the SAHUC mission workers were visible was in Mina else they
    merely acted as bus conductors collecting and issuing passports in the buses provided by the Muassasa with a single meeting that our super efficient and trusted Haj Operator Mogamat Karriem would have performed with aplomb. This is symptomatic of a group fighting desperately to justify their existence.

    6. In Minah the Muassasa demolished the tents after the second day of pelting.
    Those Hujaaj remaining to pelt on the 3rd day were dismissiveIy forced out of
    their tents. The workers demolishing the tents wanted to place men and
    woman in the same tent and the SAHUC mission worker did not even dissaprove. My colleagues and I refused to accept this and asked SAHUC to leave our tent as we are quite capable of taking care of ourselves, since they are allowing all and sundry to steamroll South African Hujaaj that they are supposed to represent.

    7. Whilst the tents were being demolished one South African group was busy
    with their pelting and left their belongings in the tent. I approached SAHUC
    officials to take care of their belongings till they return. They blatantly refused
    arrogantly insisting “it is not our responsibility”. I simply walked out of their
    tent in absolutely dismayed as they are aware of the Haj Group in question whilst I
    as a concerned Hujaaj do not even know who the group are. The question remains ‘does SAHUC take responsibility for anything’.

    8. SAHUC packed up after Thuhr on the second day at Mina and simply refused to
    provide medical care for one of our colleagues. Mogamat Karriem our diligent group leader eventually had to get the Muassasa to arrange an ambulance for the lady in question.

    The above factors simply indicate the ineptitude of SAHUC who do very little to justify their fees. It is with deep regret that I bring to your attention that Hujaaj from the more prosperous north of the country get preference to us in the poorer south. Their numbers exceed ours in the Cape who constitute circa 65% of the South African muslim population. They had their own tent with preferential treatment eg.fridges and hot drinks facilities whilst we the beautifull people of the Cape received shared facilities outside our tents. The Hujaaj who went with Nujoom Ul Garamyn have all unequivocally stated that we were extremely happy with our Haj Operator who delivered whatever they promised us and always going the extra mile. Shukran to the Nujoom team, as far as SAHUC is concerned most of the Hujaaj for 2014 are not convinced.
    The SAHUC Bulletin merely delineates what occurred prior to the Haj. Cum laude’s should be reserved for achievements relating to service delivery in the kingdom and this must be supported with statistics that is sorely missing in the bulletin. Consequently the claims of a successful 2014 Haj is most certainly unjustifiable. Sedick from SATHOA I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sterling efforts to ensure that the Hujaaj who booked with Boland Haj Jamaah eventually made it to perform their Haj. However the duplicity of some of the other claims made in the bulletin is sheer arrogance. Rumour has it that SAHUC was de-accredited 2 years ago. If this rings true it leaves Hujaaj of the opinion that SAHUC is hiding something. Perhaps the expensive remuneration for a Doctor in the Kingdom that is unwarranted considering the excellent Government Medical Services in Saudi that is absolutely free. This coupled with the supposed heavily inflated meeting attendance fees for SAHUC officials will only make Haj even more unaffordable to the poorer segment of the muslim community in the Cape.

    SHukran Faiz Kapery Ph 0711136796
    cc. Nujoom Mul Gharamyn; Radio 786; Voice of the Cape; Sathoa; Haj Watch, Al-Jamaah, ITV, Radio Islam
    from: Faiz Kapry
    to: mkariem
    cc: info@sahuchajjregistry.org.za,
    sedick@travelexpress.co.za,
    admin@radio786.co.za,
    info@hajjwatch.org.za,
    cpt@hajjwatch.org.za,
    ganief@mweb.co.za,
    dailyvoice@inl.co.za,
    info@vocfm.co.za,
    bahiyah.davids@gmail.com,
    0723438304@vodamail.co.za
    date: Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM
    subject: Rebuttle to SAHUC bulliten issued on VOC on Friday 24 October 2014
    mailed-by: gmail.com

  3. Are muslim people so cruel that they do not have any mercy for aged women. My family member is going for haj and I am age 65 single women and applied for haj in 2012 which on aware that I had pay fee and nobody did let me know till I made some enquire which inform me at last that I had pay fee which I did know they have push back to 2014. Then being aged person how do you expect me go. I have explain and explain it seem to me that our muslim people do not have any mercy or respect for aged women but say most cruel nation in the world.

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