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Submission on the Halaal Summit Print

Following the granting of an interdict brought by SANHA against the Orion Cold Storage Company for their fraudulent activities of selling pork and other haraam products as Halaal, The National Independent Halaal Trust (NIHT), one of the trinity that make up the National Halaal Forum (NHF) whose member was implicated in the Orion matter convened a meeting on 08/12/2011 to discuss the holding of a summit of meat traders.

SANHA did not subscribe to the objectives of such a meeting, but nevertheless attended and made the following submission:


Att: Moulana A.W. Wookay               

Muhtaram,                   Assal?mu ?alaykum,

 

We make dua that you are all enjoying good health.

The meeting convened by yourselves scheduled for this afternoon at your offices, whether well intentioned, misguided or with an ?agenda? is very seriously flawed in its objective which compels us to make this candid and open submission to you with the prayer that you very carefully consider your actions.

Putting aside all the rhetoric, posturing and pronouncements in the media from several quarters including politicians, consumer activists and yourselves, we summarise the events and ask you to examine it in the cold light of day.

1.      Orion cold storage company of Cape Town heinously perpetrated fraud of immense proportions against the Muslim community with the despicable acts of importing relabelling and selling pork products as Halaal, kangaroo and Buffalo meat as beef, poultry products as Halaal and dairy powder for animals passed off for human consumption.

2.      SANHA, the South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC) and the Red Meat Industry Forum SA brought an urgent application to the High courts compelling Orion to cease their fraudulent activities which was granted.  In its defence Orion stated that they were certified by the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT).  The MJCHT after much reluctance stated that they certified containers of imported meat from Brazil and Denmark but had not certified the premises of Orion.

3.      Neither the National Halaal Forum (NHF) of which the MJCHT is a member joined the legal action as the Forum nor its members in their individual capacity. However, in the face of media exposure highlighting this crime, calls for public meetings, criminal prosecutions etc began emerging from many quarters including the recent call by yourselves for a meeting of certifiers and a summit of meat traders to be hosted next year.

4.      Orion has also cunningly launched a charm offensive by wooing their previously claimed certifier, the MJCHT by holding discussions with them for a Halaal monitor to be placed at the plant.  Apparently, the candidate has already been identified.  Furthermore, Mr. Gaertner has also been in correspondence with yourselves with the proposal of presenting himself at the meeting of Halaal certifiers today and undertaking to do whatever was deemed necessary to endear himself to the very community he defrauded.

As can be seen from the above by any discerning and objective reader, the crux of the problem lies with the perpetrator Orion and also the member/s of the NHF who despite claiming to subscribe to and implement the same standards, granted certification to them and perhaps to downstream users. The problem is not one of the making of the Halaal butcher and trader who you wish to call to a summit sometime next year. It is very strange and in our opinion ridiculous, as they had not ever granted Orion Halaal certification.  The NHF members need to do serious soul searching on the principle of certification of meats and from dubious foreign sources, which practice is ongoing.  Meats from places such as Belgium, UK, Denmark, Brazil and Uruguay imported by pie manufacturers, value-added chicken processors and suppliers to fast food franchise outlets etc are still being certified and consumed by Muslims even as you read this submission, and what are the odds that this practise will continue unabated after the meeting. Until members of the NHF do not recognise and acknowledge their shortsightedness and error in judgement regarding the acceptance of imported meats from dubious sources and which are certified Halaal by such organisations whose bona fides are questionable and who accept non-Muslim slaughter and slaughter by machine etc, then a hundred summits will not resolve the problem and the Muslim Ummah will remain exposed to Haraam products not only through unscrupulous rogue traders but also through the continued Halaal Certification of such products by members of the NHF.

The NHF judiciary need to openly condemn and discipline their members who have failed to implement and uphold its standards which are alleged to be ?the highest?.

Furthermore, a very disturbing matter that is emerging is the attitude towards Orion. Far from being shown the door for his despicable deeds of dishonesty and all ties severed for compromising our faith and misleading the community, they seem to be surreptitiously allowed through the back door to serve the community.  They have made no secret of this and are now openly saying that they have engaged with NHF members including yourself.  It seems a slap on the wrist and a small monetary penalty would be his only punishment, hardly fitting the gravity of the crime. They even have the gall to want to address this meeting and the community.  It would be a betrayal of immense proportions if this was to happen with complicity by Muslims.
 

Another point which we wish to highlight in this submission is the exclusion of media by yourselves as the organiser of the meeting.  We firmly believe that it is largely through the media that this matter has been highlighted to the public and concerns are being raised.  The media ought to be lauded for their efforts which we opine has prevented this matter from being swept under the carpet.  Far from being excluded they ought to have been invited to assist in galvanising our community in its consumption of Halaal and matters of faith.

Regrettably, I am unable to attend the meeting today. I have requested my colleagues to attend and listen to your proposals and report back to our management for their input and action. We support any initiative that weeds out malpractice in Halaal certification which we have all taken on as an Amaanat on behalf of the Ummah.  We hope and pray that you will accept this candid submission in an Islamic spirit understanding for the betterment of our Ummah, Aameen.

Was-Sal?m,

for South African National Halaal Authority

 
M.S. Navlakhi (Moulana)
Theological Director

 

Tel                           :    +27 11 870 8000
Fax                          :    +27 11 870 8020
Mobile                     :    +27 83 2601737
Email                       :    sanha@iafrica.com
Website                         www.sanha.org.za
 
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