The Spur Group has issued a fine to a woman accused of using an expired certification document during operations at a Spur kiosk at the Junior Cycle Tour earlier this month, to advertise food as ‘halal’. Cindy Louw allegedly used a letter confirming the certification of meat products – not an actual, authentic halal certificate. Spur’s legal advisor, Nasarana Howa has confirmed to VOC News that a total of R10 000 has already been paid by Louw to the Gift of the Givers foundation at the request of the Spur Group.
“We have served her with an official letter in terms of her conduct and have put her on notice. She has been instructed to phone the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and pay a fine for her misdemeanours. If she has any other transgressions, her contract with us will be terminated and she will be severely dismissed,” Spur CEO Pierre Van Tonder said.
VOC News was first made aware of the story after members of the Muslim community complained on social media. Angry Muslim customers told VOC News that they feel deceived after eating the food they were told was halal.
Van Tonder reiterated that the Spur Group finds Louw’s conduct highly offensive.
“She was not allowed to, by company policy, serve halal products,” Van Tonder explained, adding that only accredited halal Spur stores are allowed to sell halal food.
Head of the MJC Halal Trust, Sheikh Achmat Sedick, said the halal confirmation of certification letter in Louw’s possession states it belongs to N1 Restaurants. Sedick explained that while the meat suppliers of N1 Restaurants are certified halal, that does not include the N1 Spur Steak Ranch.
“The question now is where does the letter actually come from? We are investigating the matter. What is interesting about this is that the confirmation letter was for the year 2014 but it is policy for halal certification to be renewed annually. Upon renewal, all old certifications and confirmation letters are handed back to us in order for the new one to be issued. This letter must be a copy,” Sedick further added.
Both the N1 Restaurants and the Spur Group deny issuing the letter in question to Louw and claim no knowledge of her use of the letter.
“We have asked her to make a donation to a charity organisation as a token of good will because her actions were not in order. At this point we await the outcome of the investigation by the MJC to determine what our next step forward will be,” Howa concluded. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)