MJC former president’s bid at high court dismissed

Shaykh Irfaan Abrahams be investigated for ‘fitness to hold office’. Picture: MJC/Website

Shaykh Irfaan Abrahams be investigated for ‘fitness to hold office’. Picture: MJC/Website

Published Feb 26, 2024


Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court has dismissed an application by suspended Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) SA president, Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams, in which he sought to hold the nonprofit organisation in contempt of a court order.

The court on Thursday ruled on the matter involving Abrahams against the MJC SA, the MJC SA Imaarah Council, acting MJC SA president Shuaib Applebee, and newly elected MJC president Shaykh Riad Fataar.

Currently under suspension, Abrahams sought a declarator holding the respondents in contempt of court for non-compliance with an order made on September 21 last year.

The order stated the special elections should proceed for all positions of the executive committee excluding the position of president, and the elections for the president should be postponed to between December 15 and January 15.

The order also stated the respondents would schedule, hold and finalise a disciplinary inquiry with Abrahams before November 15 last year.

Abrahams said that in contravention of the order the MJC did not hold a disciplinary inquiry, and proceeded with the “unconstitutionally convened” elections on January 27 this year.

He argued an oral agreement was held between the parties during settlement negotiations on October 24, in which it was agreed the MJC would pay Abrahams R350 000; Abrahams would resign as MJC president and all other positions held; and he would continue to remain a member of the MJC General Majlis if he wished.

In his founding papers, Abrahams stated: “After lengthy settlement negotiations it was agreed that my previous lawyers would (put) the terms of the settlement negotiations in writing which must then be signed by both parties.”

In his founding affidavit, Abrahams said that a day or so after the “negotiated discussions”, he contacted his previous lawyer and raised concern over the “negotiated settlement” and felt unfairly treated and therefore “declined to proceed or accept the settlement as discussed in the meeting … and exercised (his) prerogative in this regard”.

During a telephone conversation between the attorneys for the two parties, it was reportedly said by Abrahams’s former lawyer that he was not happy with the agreed amount and wanted an increase.

The MJC attorney, however, “reiterated that the oral agreement had been concluded and was legally binding, and they were not open to renegotiation”.

The judge dismissed Abrahams’s application and ruled that he pay the respondents’ costs.

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