Shortly after arriving back from a hajj protocol meeting in Saudi Arabia, the South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) has released its list of accredited Hajj operators for the year 1441 / 2020. The regulator has announced that there will be 19 local Hajj operators who have been IATA approved to be able to facilitate Hajj this year. These operators have met the standards required to deliver services to South African pilgrims.
On Wednesday, Sahuc announced that long-time hajj operator Fazila Malek, the director of the embattled New Heights Travel, has been disbarred from facilitating hajj this year. It follows a disciplinary hearing with Malek, who is accused of cancelling umrah trips that had been fully paid by clients in September last year. The group of 30 pilgrims are now taking legal action, following a cost calculation that Malek owes clients up to R4 million in refunds and loans.
Malek told Radio Islam on Thursday that she is consulting her attorneys on Sahuc’s decision. She has denied the allegations that she intentionally defrauded the pilgrims and instead claims that she is a victim of circumstance. She has repeatedly asked the pilgrims to have patience while she secures the monies for the refunds. At present, she has not delivered on her promises, despite giving them a deadline.
Sahuc is expected to release the first Haj accreditation list in the coming weeks.
Potential hujjaj are urged to only book with the operators below: