As hujjaj prepare to bid a bittersweet farewell to the holy lands in Saudi Arabia, hajj travel operators will have their hands full facilitating the departure of hujjaj as they return to their respective countries. Head of mission for the South African Hajj & Umrah Council (SAHUC), Hafiz Ismail Kholvadia says that the first flight from Hajj returning to South Africa will depart later on Thursday.
“The preparations for departure had started before we had gone to Mina. Now, it’s just a matter of facilitating the process to make the move a success. So far, everything is in place.”
“The first flight from Hajj will be leaving today and tomorrow will be the official first arrival into South Africa,” said Kholvadia.
The first hajjis will be departing by bus on Thursday. Busses are expected to arrive at least eight hours prior to scheduled flight departures to ensure enough time for loading hujjaj and their belongings and travelling to Jeddah.
Kholvadia also addressed concerns around the health of hujjaj on VOC’s Breakfast Beat, assuring South Africans that clinics have been functioning efficiently and that no major health issues have arisen.
“The clinics have been coping quite well. We’ve had a busy session in the last week but overall the whole process has been managed fairly comfortably, alhamdulillah.”
“There have been a few flu cases as a result of the rain, but the majority of patients only had body pains and aches – alhamdulillah nothing serious.”
According to SAHUC, the hajj pilgrimage has been an overall success. Kholvadia added, however, that should hajjis wish to lay formal complaints regarding their experience/s on Hajj, they can do so once they return.
“With Allah’s blessing and with the cooperation of hujjaj and the relevant authorities, I think the Hajj went off fairly well and has been a success,” said Kholvadia.
“[However] the hajjis need to lay their complaints down when they get back and it has to be done in writing. You need to state your complaint, issues and challenges and provide the relevant proof. It will then be taken up by SAHUC via a disciplinary committee who will look at the complaint. Once there has been a resolution to the issue, it will be decided as to what action must be taken.
If there is no solution to the issue it will be taken to mediation and if there’s no resolution after mediation, the Hajji can take the matter into civil court.”