A commission of inquiry has been instituted to investigate allegations of financial mismanagement by top Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) officials relating to the spending of R900,000 of Covid-19 relief funds.
A COMMISSION of Inquiry has been instituted to investigate allegations of financial mismanagement by top Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) officials relating to the spending of R900,000 of Covid-19 relief funds.
Calls from concerned members of the public for an independent probe have since emerged after letters containing the allegations were leaked to the public.
According to a letter by Dr Yusuf Arieff, a former MJC executive, the matter first came to light last year after someone had asked if he was aware about the funds given to Imams for Covid relief during that financial year and he requested transparency on how they were spent, to no avail.
“The integrity of our Muslim community and more so that of its religious leadership should be held to the highest levels of scrutiny. With this being said, there has been a series of events that have not been explained, neither was any clarity given to the extent required on possible financial irregularities within the treasury of the MJC,” he said.
According to Arieff, at several general meetings, requests were made for a written report and breakdown of the estimated R900,000.
“What should be noted is that most of the transactions are cash withdrawals. Upon inspection and correlation with the statement of withdrawals/payments received from the auditor and of that offered as an explanation by the treasurer, there were obvious discrepancies in relation to the date of the withdrawals, the amounts as well as no evidentiary proof as to how the withdrawals were used.”
Arieff said he requested more clarity on the disbursements, however, he was informed that he was not at liberty to ask for such information and that it would not be provided to protect the honour of the persons who were provided relief.
However, in another letter, an MJC official claimed Arieff was purposefully attempting to cast doubt on the current leadership of the MJC and his letter was based on hearsay.
He further claimed the allegations came before the electoral AGM 2021 which was Arieff’s alleged attempt to manipulate the elections.
“All tokens and receipts were handed in timeously and no questions were asked by the auditor to the treasurer at any time, even to date. The company that audits the books of the MJC (SA) has a good standing in the business and local community, and would not stand to damage their own reputation,” he said.
MJC’s second deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar said a commission of inquiry has been set up to look into the claims.
He requested the commission be given space to complete its work.