Faizel Patel – 11/06/2020
The South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) has announced that South African Hujjaj will not be able to perform hajj this year.
Sahuc says it met with the International Relations Department on Thursday to discuss the possibility of hajj under COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa including the rules of international travel under the current National Disaster Act.
Sahuc’s Moaaz Casoo says International Relations minister, Naledi Pandor indicated that South African borders are currently closed and will not be open for international commercial travel except for the repatriation of citizens under the current COVID-19 lockdown.
“Based on the closure of borders, the curtailment of international travel and the issues pertaining to COVID-19, it is with regret that we inform South African accredited hujjaj that South African pilgrims will not be able to embark on hajj 1441/2020.”
Casoo says hujjaj must contact the respective accredited hajj operators to arrange their release from any contracts or refunds paid to the operator.
“We would like to inform all hujjaj that the South African accredited hajj operators will not be charging any administration fee. However, where cash deposits were made, the charges associated with the same will be deducted. in addition, where any airline tickets have been acquired the operator will refund according to the cancellation policy of the said airline company. where deposits were paid into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the operator those parts of the refunds will follow once funds are received from the Saudi counterparts.”
He says Sahuc will also refund the R1500 accreditation fee for all hujjaj.
Casoo says all 1441 hujjaj affected by the situation will be placed into the queue according to their date and time of application and queued for hajj 1442/2021.
Meanwhile, as the annual Hajj draws closer, it’s emerged Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry is expected to make a decision soon about whether the Kingdom will be proceeding with this year’s Hajj or not due to the COVID-19 pandemic.