Cape Muslim parties unite for polls

http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/cape-muslim-parties-unite-for-polls-1.1659443

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Al Jama-ah Community Party leader GaniefHendricks. File picture: Enver Essop

Cape Town – Two Cape Muslim parties have joined forces to campaign for the May 7 polls under one banner to avoid splitting the Muslim vote in the province.

Al Jama-ah Community Party and the Africa Muslim Party announced that they would campaign together under the banner of Al Jama-ah Community Party, after some Muslim voters complained about not knowing which party to vote for.

Al Jama-ah Community Party leader Ganief Hendricks on Monday confirmed that the party would be the only Muslim party to contest the elections in the Western Cape.

The Africa Muslim Party’s Western Cape leader, Wasfie Hassiem, will take the number one slot on the Al Jama-ah Community Party list in the province.

“Both parties will remain independent for now, but will campaign the national and provincial elections jointly under the Al Jama-ah,” Hendricks said.

On Monday, he registered the party with the IEC to contest the provincial elections, adding that it was still to be decided which other provinces Al Jama-ah would contest.

Hendricks said the Muslim vote in the City of Cape Town represented a strong constituency, estimated at about 29 percent of the population.

“Muslims have been voting for the NP and the DA, now we want them to vote for a united Muslim party,” he said.

Both parties were confident their joint campaign would see them get three seats in the provincial parliament, he said.

He predicted that Al-Jama-ah might end up being a kingmaker in the legislature, although he warned that there would be no “deals being made with the DA”.

“Although Muslims make up 29 percent of the population, there is not a single Muslim on the DA’s Western Cape party lists, but they have many members linked to the Jewish Board of Deputies.”

Hendricks said despite the party’s initial focus on Muslim interests, it had transformed itself into a community party that sought to be a “voice for all communities”.

Al Jama-ah Community Party’s election manifesto will focus primarily on:

* Offering a realistic alternative to corrupt political parties.

* Making consumer issues such as food, electricity, fuel, bank and cellphone cost a priority.

* Housing, sanitation and safe environments for communities.

* Advancing the interests of the indigenous Khoisan, slave and Creole descendants in South Africa.

AJ Faced with Legal Action

http://www.vocfm.co.za/index.php/news/local-news/item/12364-aj-faced-with-legal-action

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has threatened legal action against the Al Jama-ah party for printing an election pamphlet, which calls on the public not to vote for the DA amid allegations that it is a Zionist funded party. The pamphlet in questions depicts the DA logo, emblazoned with the words ‘Don’t Vote’. The poster also claims the new City of the Cape Town logo represents the Star of David, a symbol of Judaism and that a vote for Helen Zille “is a betrayal of the Palestinian struggle”.

The Al Jama-ah pamphlet is based on the premise that it is “haraam to vote for the DA”. According to the flyer, “the DA and the DA’s Parliamentary candidate Glynnis Breytenbach received money from a known Zionist, Nathan Kirsh.  Nathan Kirsch, the largest shareholder in Magal Security Systems, won a tender in the construction of the apartheid wall in the West Bank.  DA leader Helen Zille refused to disclose whether the party was funded by Kirsch but publically admitted that he was her close friend.”

In the letter sent by the DA’s legal representatives, Minde Shapiro and Smith, the Al Jama-ah party is accused of violating the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996 and the Electoral Code of conduct as stipulated in S99 of the Act and Schedule 2 to the Act.

The letter states that the allegations disclosed in the flyer are “false and defamatory” and use of the DA’s logo plagiarises the party’s symbols, colours and acronyms. This, it added, was in violation of Section 9(1) (c). The letter further contends that the poster transgressed Section 89 (1) of the Act, which states that: “No person may public any false information with the intention of influencing the conduct or outcome of an election.”

The party warned that should Al Jama-ah fail to comply with the Electoral Code of Conduct, it would take the appropriate action, which includes “a punitive cost order”.

In response, Advocate Zehir Omar, acting for Al Jama-ah, said the letter does not state which facts are false and does not admit or deny the accusations levelled at the DA.

He said a responding letter was sent to Minde Shapiro and Smith stating that Al Jama-ah would not distribute the pamphlets on condition that the DA answer pertinent questions related to the party’s funding.  These questions are:

-Did the DA propose that the “Star of David” incorporate the logo of the City of Cape Town?

-Does the DA approve or condemn the host of UN resolutions that Israel was found to have contravened in relation to Palestine and the Palestinians?

-Does the DA support or condemn the “Apartheid Wall” in Wesbank and does your client agree that the said wall facilitates Apartheid?

-Does the DA admit that the practice of “Apartheid” is a crime against humanity?

-Does the DA agree that those who support financially or otherwise, people who oppress others are oppressors themselves?

-Does the DA receive funding from people who support Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine?

-Did the DA ever receive funding from Mr. Nathan Kirsh?

-Did Glyniss Breytenbach receive funding from Mr. Nathan Kirsh?

The party have asked for a reply from the DA within four days. Once the response is issued, then the pamphlets will be adapted and then disseminated, said Omar.

“If the answers are inadequate, or if no answers are received, then the people of this country should know that there is perhaps a tacit approval by the DA of the actions of the Israeli authorities towards the Palestinians,” said Omar.

The advocate cited a Johannesburg High Court order in January 2011, in which Al Jama-ah was declared to be a national political party with a largely Muslim constituency. Omar said this court order was important as it elevated the party to be “an authentic voice for the Muslims of South Africa.” Based on this, the party believes there is a religious consequence attached to the Muslim vote.

Omar added that the Al Jam-ah party had done “extensive research” in framing its argument in the election flyer.

“If that which is contained the poster is the truth, then the DA will be very hard pressed to persuade any judge in any court in our country that the information contained in the flyer is not of public interest,” he argued.

“What I am saying is that if the pamphlet is the truth, it is not in contravention of the electoral act, nor would it be in contravention of the common law.”

In a statement on Thursday, Al Jama-ah party said it “will not be bullied by questionably funded big parties”. The party stressed it would “not be silenced on the issue of Palestine” which it believes has become an important election topic.

“It is our position that whoever funds a political party has a direct influence in the policy position that party will take and it is therefore imperative for parties to disclose who their substantial donors are in order for voters to make informed and conscious decisions when voting,” the party said.

“For more than a decade, civil society has called for the introduction of legislation that would regulate political party funding. Political parties and Parliament have ignored these repeated requests for action. There must be transparency and accountability in the financial operations of political parties.”

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declined to comment, saying that it had not been informed of the possible legal action. A spokesperson told VOC News that it was essentially a “legal matter” and the IEC could not comment on the merits of the case. Only once a court handed down a judgement, would the IEC make a statement. VOC (Tasneem Adams)

No Comment on AJ – DA

http://www.vocfm.co.za/index.php/news/local-news/item/12380-no-comment-da

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has declined to comment on a responding letter from the Al Jama-ah party, demanding that it disclose its party funding. Al Jama-ah had given the DA four days to reply, warning that it would distribute pamphlets calling on the public not to vote for the party. DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe told VOC News their legal team is in the process of drafting its reply to Al Jama-ah, expected to be completed on Monday.

Al Jama-ah is pressing the DA to respond to critical questions about its association with Zionist billionaire Nathan Kirsch and its stance on the Palestine-Israeli conflict.  This follows a legal letter sent from the DA’s attorney Mindie Schapiro and Smith to Al Jama-ah, demanding the party not circulate an election pamphlet, which it claims is an “infringement of the electoral act”. The DA threatened it would take legal action should the poster be disseminated to the public.

The controversial flyer states that a vote for the DA is “a betrayal of the Palestinian struggle”.  Al Jama-ah has based its assertion on reports that DA parliamentary candidate Glynnis Breytenbach was paid money by UK billionaire Nathan Kirsch, whose company Magal Security Systems, provided material for the construction of the Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank. A United Nations resolution declared the barrier illegal in October 2003.

The pamphlet is targeted at the party’s Muslim constituency and explains why ‘it is haraam to vote for the DA’. According to the party’s attorney Zehir Omar, there were spiritual implications for Muslims who voted for the DA. The party’s aim with the pamphlet was to make “the truth” known.

Analysts say the DA has spoken in two tongues on the Palestine-Israeli issue. At a meeting with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) last month, Zille clearly stated that the DA believes in a two-state solution, which she termed “two states for two peoples”. Zille said that while the peace process is making good progress in the Middle East, “it is wrong to try and make any one side out to be solely responsible for the problem.” VOC

AL JAMA-AH LEADER KEY WITNESS FOR RADIO 786 JEWISH BOARD OF DEPUTIES HATE SPEECH CHARGE

Party Leader Ganief Hendricks took a week off  from campaigning for the 2014 elections to sit with the station’s  senior council to refute  the hate speech allegation by the Jewish Board of Deputies.  Hours before he was expected to be called as the station’s first witness the Board withdrew the complaint. Ganief hit the headlines when he called for the release of professor Karabus when he was detained in the Emirates.

The complaint was lodged 16 years ago when he was one of the  leaders of the station and the licence holder the Islamic Unity Convention representing the Majlisush Shura Al Islami.

 

WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN: QURAN RECITAL CHAMPION OF THE WORLD

1. Competitive spirit of a champion. Recite to win.

2. The Competition specialises in the melodious method or reciting referred to by many as Qira-ah ” mujawwad” . In the realm of Quranic reciters it is understood by many to be the type of recitation that requires the reciter to have some understanding of the various “maqamaat” or modes of melodious recitation.

(MJC website).

3. The contestant must be over 13 years old and have a passport.

AL JAMA-AH SEEKS HIFZ STAR

Are you champion of the world material  and a reciter that will capture the imagination of the Ummah ?  Be brave – enter now for a lifetime experience in the company of the best reciters of 100 countries of the world. And bring the trophy and gold pieces home insha-Allah.

Voice of the Cape Muslim Radio Station in Cape Town broke the news on their station and posted it on their website  with the above “breaking news” header.

Since then there has been a flood of enquiries as  there is now a “sense of excitement” amongst Hifz reciters – excited to contest the 56th Annual Malaysian International Quranic Recital Assembly. The event will be held in KL on 21 June 2014 but AL JAMA-AH is racing against the clock to find a South African  champion male reciter and a female reciter to take on the world before the deadline of 30 April 2014.  They gave us 2 weeks but no challenge is too much, For the Quran we will “break a leg.”

Contestant No1 has entered and his recital is  already  posted on the Qira’at button of this website.  Other contestants must be world class, put their recital on Youtube and send us the link. Auditions will be held in the month of April 2014.

All expenses are paid by the Malaysian government but we need funding and a sponsor for the talent search and the support team. So donate generously:  Every R50 counts.

EFT ALJAMA FNB CHEQUE ACCOUNT NO 62153666949 PINELANDS BRANCH CODE 260209. AUDITOR HASSAN KAJEE SABT.

Press Statement AL JAMA-AH DA Threat of Litigation

Press Statement AL JAMA-AH DA Threat of Litigation

AL JAMAH LETTERS

PRESS STATEMENT

The Democratic Alliance has instructed their attorneys Minde Shapiro Smith  to threaten the AL JAMA-Community Party  with legal action because of a pamphlet  distributed by  AL  JAMA-AH that links the  DA’s R100 million rand election budget to known ZIONIST Nathan Kirsch. The letter directed at AL JAMA-AH’s CEO  Imraahn  Ismail-Mukaddam  threatens to use  the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 (,,the Act”), the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996 and the Electoral Code of conduct as stipulated in S99 of the Act and Schedule 2 to the Act.

In terms of the letter “the DA hereby demand that you remove and/or desist from distributing all of these posters/pamphlets which constitute a gross violation of the Electoral Legislation and Regulations by no later than 2:00pm on Monday, 31 March2014, failing which we will immediately take the appropriate action and obtain the appropriate relief which relief will include a punitive cost order against you.”

The threatening tone of the letter was designed to intimidate us and for the  sake  of ensuring that AL JAMA-AH a party that pursues interest of marginalised constituencies contest the elections we withdrew the offending pamphlet as demanded without admitting any liability.

Our legal representatives responded with some pertinent questions that would clarify whether our pamphlet was defamatory or not. These questions were the following.

 

i)            Did your client ( The DA ) propose that the “Star of David” incorporate the logo of the City of Cape Town.

ii)            Does your client approve or condemn the host of UN resolutions that Israel was found to have contravened in relation to Palestine and the Palestinians.

iii)            Does your client support or condemn the “Apartheid Wall” in Wesbank and does your client agree that the said wall facilitates Apartheid.

iv)            Does your client admit that the practice of “Apartheid” is a crime against humanity.

v)            Does your client agree that those who support financially or otherwise, people who oppress others are oppressors themselves?

vi)            Does your client receive funding from people who support Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine.

vii)            Did your party ever receive funding from Mr. Nathan Kirsh.

viii)            Did Glyniss Breytenbach receive funding from Mr. Nathan Kirsh.

ix)

It is our contention that depending how the Democratic Alliance responds to these questions we will have grounds to lay a charge of intimidation at the Electoral Court.  AL JAMA-AH has also be lodged complaints against the DA for alleging in a radio add that a vote for smaller parties is a waste as smaller parties  will align themselves to the ANC. This claim is defamatory and without any substance and a clear violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct.

 

The  AL JAMA-AH COMMUNITY PARTY will not be bullied by “questionably” funded big parties and will definitely not be silenced on the issue of Palestine which has become an election issue.

 

It is our position that whoever funds a political party has a direct influence in the policy position that party will take and it is therefore imperative for parties to disclose who their substantial donors are in order for voters to make informed and conscious decisions when voting .

 

For more than  a decade, civil society has called for the introduction of legislation that would regulate political party funding. Political parties and Parliament have ignored these repeated requests for action. There must be transparency and accountability in the financial operations of political parties.

 

THE AL JAMA-AH COMMUNITY PARTY WILL LODGE A PROMOTION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT AND PROTECTED DISCLOSURES ACT, APPLICATION.  WE NEED TO KNOW WHO IS FUNDING OUR POLITICAL PARTIES AND BY HOW MUCH.

 

THE FUNDEMENTAL QUESTION REMAINS IS OUR DEMOCRACY BEING COMPROMISED BY THE AGENDAS OF DONORS AND FUNDERS?

We are currently exploring partnerships with various Civil Society organisations that are also pursuing transparency in election funding on a way forward. We believe that we do have sufficient grounds for a Constitutional Court challenge because of Parliaments failure to implement appropriate legislation which was recommended as part of a judgement in a previous application by IDASA in 2005 that also sought transparency in election and campaign funding.

AL JAMA-AH supports the initiative and the position of the newly established MY VOTE COUNTS campaign especially the following statement issued by them “The culture of financial secrecy allows political party campaign promises to be undercut by the hidden hands of financially influential individuals, corporations or foreign governments. Party funding scandals (Arms Deal, Oilgate, Guptagate to name a few) cannot continue. The campaign for party funding reform is a key site in the struggle for an open, accountable and democratic South Africa!”

 

Please find attached correspondence from our attorneys to the  Democratic Alliance.

 

For more information contact Ganief Hendricks Party Leader on 082 780 2573 or Imraahn Ismail-Mukaddam, National CEO on Cell: 073 794 6092 or Tel : 021 829 0020 or Email : consumerdialogues@gmail.com