By Anees Teladia
The battle to wear the hijab in the SANDF continued today with Major Fatima Isaacs making an appearance at the preliminary investigation hearing at the Cape Town Castle of Good Hope. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 8am but commenced at least 15-20 minutes later. Major Isaacs also did not appear before a senior judge as the SANDF had previously indicated.
There was a strong media presence surrounding Major Isaacs and her legal team heading into the preliminary hearing, a presence which was then bolstered by the attendance of Major Isaacs’ family.
However, media and other observers were not allowed inside the preliminary investigation hearing, following an instruction from Major S. Naidoo, a prosecuting official at the castle.
Major Isaacs’ spokesperson, Nazeema Mohamed has expressed gratitude toward the manner in which both the public and the media have received this case. She has also urged the community to contribute toward Major Isaacs’ legal costs.
“I wish to thank the public for their support and to remind everyone that we’re still in the process of raising funds to enable us to pay Major Isaacs’ advocate her fees,” said Mohamed.
“This fight is against unfair discrimination and for our right as Muslim women to wear a hijab. I call upon everyone to donate – even if it’s just R1.”
Attorney, Igshaan Higgins has asserted that should the SANDF not withdraw the charges against Major Isaacs and proceed to pursue the matter further, the legal team will take the case “until it reaches its logical conclusion”.
He also indicated that the entire matter reflects terribly on the country and goes against what the constitution and democracy stand for.