Minister Meyer Meets with the Muslim Judicial Council
Media Statement by Dr Ivan Meyer, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Following recent media reports regarding the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Dr Ivan Meyer, met with a MJC (SA) delegation led by its First Deputy President, Sheikh Achmat Sedick, on Wednesday, 1 February 2012.
Explaining the reason for the meeting, Dr Meyer, who initiated the meeting, indicated that as the responsible minister it was important for him to gain an understanding of the issues at hand and to ensure that the cultural expression of all communities, including religious practices, is protected and respected.
"Established in 1945, the MJC has over many years made a huge contribution to not only the upliftment of the Muslim community and broader society through its very effective anti-poverty strategy but also the building of social cohesion and the establishment of political and social stability. It is therefore not in our interest that an organisation with such a proud heritage continues to get lambasted in the media," said Dr Meyer.
Expressing his gratitude to the minister for showing concern for the Muslim community, Sheikh Sedick assured the minister that while the last period has certainly been very challenging for the MJC, they have put in place a plan to repair the damage done to the reputation of the MJC.
He informed the minister that, "after considerable reflection, deliberation and consultation with several stakeholders, the MJC wished to reiterate its commitment to (a) appointing an independent panel comprised of suitably qualified persons to place under review and vigorously test the currently employed standards, processes and systems and to deliver a report and recommendations thereon; (b) publish its audited financial statements in the public domain for scrutiny to eliminate any conjecture with regard to the affairs of the organisation and the conduct of its members and leadership; and (c) appoint an Advisory Council comprising of eminent persons who enjoy experience and credibility in their respective fields of specialisation and whose purpose it shall be to act in an advisory capacity to the MJC. The MJC further invites Dr Meyer to visit a Halaal plant to obtain an understanding of the role of the MJC and its contribution to the Muslim Community."
The minister noted that some of the proposals had already been implemented and expressed his satisfaction with the steps that the MJC is taking to overcome their challenges and restore stability within a very significant section of our community ie the Muslim community. In response to the invitation from the MJC, the minister gave notice of his intention to undertake an unannounced visit to a Halaal plant.