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MJC president heads to court to prevent early elections that could see him removed

Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams. Picture: MJC/Website

Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams. Picture: MJC/Website

Published Sep 18, 2023


Cape Town - The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) president Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams is seeking the Western Cape High Court’s hand to prevent the religious authority body from conducting an early AGM later this month, to elect a new Executive Committee (Exco).

In the application lodged by Abrahams against the MJC South Africa, he is seeking to interdict to restrain the MJC from proceeding with elections for the next president.

The deadline for answering affidavits was on September 15, with Abrahams to deliver his replying affidavit by today. Abrahams has requested that the matter be heard on September 21.

This is his second term in office, with the current five year term in effect as of May 28, 2021 and lasting until May 28, 2026.

In his founding affidavit, Abrahams said the MJC “is attempting to circumvent and essentially breach its constitutional and contractual obligations to me by forcing unconstitutional, early elections on Saturday, September 23.”

During the AGM held last year April, an internal Commission of Inquiry (COI) was instituted by General Majlis, one of four primary organs of the MJC, to investigate financial irregularities within the organisation.

The MJC is made up of four organs: the Senior Council (Imarah); the Supreme Council (Majlis al-A’la); the Executive Council (Exco); and the General Council (General Majlis).

As president, Abrahams is a member of the Exco.

The MJC COI Report dated June, 11, last year, was to investigate 38 transactions amounting to R928 504 specified as “assistance” in the 2020/21 annual financial statements (AFS).

While the COI’s investigation found no prima facie evidence of theft or personal enrichment, the “COI found gross financial management and control failures, including: unauthorised expenditure, gross negligence in financial record keeping, the manufacture of misrepresented receipts, disputes on amounts received, contradiction to the MJC constitution, an unnecessarily high number of cash withdrawals, challenges around disclosure and co-operation, and negligence of duty regarding financial management fiduciary duties.”

The MJC said allegations raised by a member were addressed through the formation of the internal COI.

“Despite no allegations levelled against me, the first organ (the Imarah), the General Majlis, and certain members of the Exco, have suggested that I was the figurehead and the operations behind the alleged financial irregularities,” Abrahams stated in his application.

“I unequivocally deny that I was behind any sort of decision-making that had apparently resulted in financial irregularities in the books of the respondent,” Abrahams tated in his application.

In a statement, the MJC said that it would be opposing the matter.

Due to the matter being sub judice, it was not able to discuss the contents thereof at this stage, the MJC added.

“The MJC wishes to assure the Muslim community that the proper function of the organisation will not be impeded by these proceedings and that all affairs pertaining to the operations and services to the community are not and will not be affected by these proceedings and such services will continue as usual.”

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