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Judgement Reserved in the Opening of Masaajid during Lockdown Matter.

Apr 24, 2020

As Muslims prepare for the blessed month of Ramadan, Judge Brenda Neukircher has reserved judgment in the constitutionality of the lockdown matter until next week.

Muhammed Bin Hassim Mohomed, Anas Mohammed Chotia and the As-Saadiqeen Islamic Centre are challenging President Cyril Ramaposa in a bid to declare certain parts of the lockdown regulations unconstitutional as it prohibits Muslims from reading salaah in the masjid.

Advocate for the applicants Feroz Boda argued that the Muslim community is in pain because the doors of the Masaajid are closed.

Boda says there will be strict measures in place to ensure the social distancing regulations are not breached and that at least about 4 people be allowed to attend including those that can hear the un-amplified Athan or call to prayer.

“We live in our masjids. It is the central part in Ramadaan. The masjid is of fundamental importance. The fact that Qur’an is not recited int eh masjid in the holy month of Ramadan is an enormous burden, an emotional burden on Muslims.

However Advocate Azhar Bham as amicus curiae and advocate for the United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) argued that if Judge Neukircher makes a decision on the religious beliefs of three applicants, it will establish a principle that has to accommodate people of every religious belief.

“The applicants constantly take as their starting point their personal beliefs and they do more than that. And they take as another starting point their personal demographics in De Deur and seek to elevate from that what they want you to tell the President to do across the board. It doesn’t work that way. It cannot work that way and, in a sense, illustrates, not a lack of sincerity, but an element naivety.

Judge Neukircher says she will not reconvene court to make her judgment but rather email her decision to the parties next week.

Faizel Patel 

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)


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