…We find the response hopelessly inadequate and have expressed our disappointment with the Airports Company…

10 April 2008

Urgent Press Release

RE: Moosa Essop Incident at O.R Tambo International Airport

Attached below is the response we received from Mr. Jason Tshabalala, Head of Security at the Airports Company of South Africa at the O.R Tambo International Airport, to the concerns which we expressed vis-à-vis Mr. Moosa Essop, in a letter to the Airports Company of South Africa on the 7th April 2008.

We find the response hopelessly inadequate and have expressed our disappointment with the Airports Company. Our latest correspondence with Mr. Tshabalala is also attached.

Thank you

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher

Media Review Network

On Behalf of:

Mr. Iqbal Jassat

Chairman

Media Review Network

And

Moulana Ighsaan Hendricks

President Muslim Judicial Council

** See following for our latest correspondence to ACSA’s response as well as ACSA’s response:

07 April 2008

The Airports Company of South Africa

Sir

RE: Moosa Essop Incident at OR Tambo

The Media Review Network (MRN) & Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is appalled that a Muslim family has been accosted by Israeli security agents at OR Tambo International Airport. This disgraceful conduct by foreign intelligence, demanding identity documents of South African citizens on South African soil is untenable.Whilst we welcome ACSA’s undertaking to probe this matter, we insist that an unconditional undertaking that the Airports Company has not forfeited its security functions to foreign agents, in particular the intelligence force of the apartheid state of Israel.We also call on government to clarify the apparent Carte Blanche with which Israeli agents are able to humiliate innocent South African families at South African airports. We believe that unless Government, in particular the Ministry of Safety & Security is publicly able to reprimand El Al and it’s over zealous security forces, South Africans will continue to suffer the indignity and insults arising from racist and religious profiling.

Thank you

For MRN

Iqbal Jassat

Chairman

083 594 3749

For MJC

Moulana Ighsaan Hendricks

President

083 384 6973

**************************************************

9 April 2008

Iqbal Jassat

Chairman

Media Review Network

Moulana Ighsaan Hendricks

President

Muslim Judicial Council

Moosa Essop incident at O.R. Tambo International Airport.

Your letter dated 3 April 2008 refers. As ACSA, we strongly sympathise with Mr Moosa Essop. We called him to get a better understanding of exactly what happened and if there were any ACSA employees involved in the incident. This is because we view such incidents in serious light since it is not ACSA’s policy to discriminate unfairly against any passenger or airport user on the basis of race, gender, religion or culture. We established that the Mr Essop was accosted by employees of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the EL AL Israeli Airlines. Whilst we have made the two institutions aware of the incident, we are limited in terms of any further action that can be taken.Considering the above, it is clear this matter needs to be followed up with EL AL Israeli Airlines or the SAPS directly.SincerelyJason TshabalalaHead of SecurityO.R. Tambo International Airport

**************************************************

Jason Tshabalala (Mr.)

Head of Security

O.R Tambo International Airport

10th April 2008

Sir

Re: Moosa Essop: O.R Tambo International Airport

Whilst we appreciate the fact that Airports Company of South Africa’s policy is not to discriminate against passengers using the facilities at the O.R Tambo International Airport, it is our considered opinion that the steps taken by you are insufficient and will not instil any kind of confidence in the minds of your passengers and visitors.

By you merely making El Al Airlines aware of what happened without obtaining an apology or extracting any kind of guarantees from them will not prevent such incidents from repeating themselves in the future. Your suggestion that we address the problem with El Al Airlines and the South African Police Service is an abdication of your responsibilities. Your Department must ensure the safety, security and comfort of all passengers and visitors to the Airport at all times. Anything less than that assurance will be seen as a dereliction of duty. We await your response.

Thank you.

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher

Media Review Network.

On Behalf of:

Mr. Iqbal Jassat

Chairman

Media Review Network

And

Moulana Ighsaan Hendricks

President

Muslim Judicial Council.

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.