South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)


March 2017 : Jumaada Al-Ukra 1438

SANHA certified outlets receive a certificate which is an attestation that through comprehensive contractual agreements, full disclosures and cross-checks of ingredients, requisite staff supervision in place, unfettered access to premises and regular audits, that the place and products are indeed Halaal. On the certificate itself, the Theological Director and his regional representatives place their signature as testimony on the Halaal status.

How is this testimony given for every outlet when SANHA, after 20 years of service to the Ummah, certifies close on to 2000 outlets in South Africa, Pakistan, Oman, West Africa, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, UAE, among others.  This is implemented through the management principle of delegation. This is one of the most important management skill sets where the manager empowers employees by equipping them with competency, data, tools and the authority to do their job independent of supervision. They are given the responsibility for actions for a task or process. However, accountability in delegation cannot be shared. Many employees may be tasked to deliver the results but the head is singularly responsible for the level and quality of delegation which brings success or failure. Anything else is abdication. After hundreds of years of management experiences there still exists confusion between the line of delegation and abdication. The former is a tool for success while the latter is most certainly doomed for failure and nothing but a blame game. Remember the adage, “the buck stops here”.

These principles are not foreign to Islam. On the contrary, they are very much part of our religion as embodied in the Noble Quraan and the conduct of the perfect teacher to mankind, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is why sometimes he would choose Ali Bin Abi Talib to administer the affairs of Madinah and sometimes it was Abdullah Ibn Ummi Maktum (May Allah be pleased with them both). Deputies were also appointed to administer the affairs of remote provinces.

We can draw lessons on accountability from the references to the Prophet Moosa (peace be upon him).When he returned to his people he found that his brother Prophet Haroon (peace be upon him) was unable to prevent the people from being misled by Samiri. He held Prophet Haroon (peace be upon him) accountable but also assumed responsibility himself, illustrating one of the most basic rules of delegation, i.e. that one cannot delegate accountability - one can only delegate authority. Prophet Moosa (peace be upon him) prayed: ‘O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother! Admit us to Your mercy! For You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!’ (Surah 7, Verse 151)

Rather than bemoaning the situation and blaming his brother which would be abdication of the task, he demonstrated great leadership qualities by asking for forgiveness for being unable to fulfill his responsibility as well as for his brother being unable to complete the delegated task.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, recent cases of Halaal logo abuse (and many more that have occurred over the years) are indicative of the lack of implementation of these governance principles). Pork sausages were labelled as Halaal by a major retail chain - click here to view. Then there were several incidents in the Western Cape where pork sausages were labelled as beef and were then “explained away” as labelling errors. We viewed the certification of such outlets where these incidents occurred as an error in judgement rather than labelling errors. Click here to view.

Over the years we have witnessed instances of non-approved items brought onto the premises by staff for their own consumption and storage. We have also seen products being hastily replaced with non-approved or Haraam products from nearby supermarkets when the particular outlet ran out of certain stock during busy periods.

A famous international franchised fast food chain with 249 outlets in this country are certified Halaal without any inspections undertaken at store level. The certifier inspects the three distribution centres only and has abdicated the responsibility to the chain itself to uphold the Halaal criteria in all the stores on their behalf. They reason that since the stores can only draw stocks from the distribution centres nothing could go wrong. So who guards the guards? Perhaps the problem also could be the regulator’s capacity for the task with 15 permanent inspectors and 3 on an ad hoc basis. Twelve inspectors operate and reside in Cape Town, one in Johannesburg, one in Durban and one in the Eastern Cape according to their own published information.

In another recent incident the Hindu community suffered the indignation of buying mutton sausages that contained pork from a national wholesaler. They were incensed by the explanation of the store management that the items were correctly labelled in that “ 75% of the meat has to be of the predominant species (which is the case for the mutton sausages as it contains 82% mutton)and “the sausage in question therefore meets/exceeds this requirement” exploiting a loophole in regulation set out by the South African Bureau of Standards which requires a supplier to merely disclose that there are other species in the dominant meat products which reference was reduced to fine print. In effect the responsibility to uphold religious rights was abdicated with disastrous consequences.  Click here to view the media article

Accountability is non-negotiable, fundamental and mandatory in the field of Halaal governance. The delegated responsibility cannot be abdicated to anyone not skilled in upholding the amaanah, who do not have the capacity, lack commitment and belief in the mission of protecting and preserving the integrity of true Halaal for the Ummah and more critically to anyone that does not subscribe to Islam and uphold its values. Click here for further recommended reading.


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