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Wakefields Chokes on Hindu Incense Smoke Letter

The recent communication issued to residents of the Morningside Ridge apartment block has sparked the ire of the South African community on social media. The letter by Wakefields Property Management condemned religious practices of Hindus, particularly the ritual of burning incense, deeming it a nuisance affecting other residents. The letter had gone viral last week on social media and messenger platforms sparking outrage demanding answers from the property group.

The letter by Wakefields issued on behalf of the Morningside Ridge Body Corporate read,

“Numerous complaints have been received from occupants regarding smoke from religious practices affecting their units and causing discomfort/nuisance and we appeal to all residents to be mindful of other residents when burning incense. We draw to your attention Clause 15(1) of the Body Corporate Rules which reads – NUISANCE: 1) ‘An owner shall not cause or permit any disorderly conduct of whatsoever nature in a section or upon any part of the common property or do or permit any act, matter or thing in or about the same which shall constitute or cause a nuisance or any inconvenience to any other owner or occupier of the building or member of the body corporate’. Should this persist, the body corporate will have to take remedial action as per the rules.”

Wakefields Property Management letter
The Wakefields Property Management letter dated 9 September which sparked debate on social media.

Morningside Ridge Body Corporate deny religious intolerance or race issue

Following a meeting convened by the Trustees of the Body Corporate on Friday, 11 September, a statement was issued to clarify the contents of the letter. The chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Salo Albert, said that the letter would be withdrawn with a new mandate ordered to Wakefields Property Management to issue a new communication. He also added that the body corporate members are practising Hindus. The updated communication shared yesterday stated that the recent complaint appears to be with regards to smoke emanating from what is assumed to be Hawan mixture, emanating from a Hawan Kund.

MLT CORPORATION

“We are acutely aware of, and respect the fact that the diversity of residents at the complex have the right to reside in harmony while practising their religious and cultural beliefs. It is just as important that all residents are cognizant of the impact of their behaviour, on their neighbours and other residents,” the letter reads.

Nabeelah Shaikh speaks to Morningside Ridge residents,

Wakefields in the third statement on Saturday morning had to then defend their actions posting an update on Facebook. The statement read, “It was never the intention of Wakefields Property Management to judge anyone on their culture, religion or race, but rather to carry out the instruction of the Trustees of the Body Corporate in resolving complaints at the property.”

Reaction to a letter that was sent to the residents of the Morningside Ridge Apartment on behalf of the Trustees of the Body Corporate has resulted in unfounded allegations of religious intolerance and racial bias. It was never the intention of Wakefields Property Management to judge anyone on their culture, religion or race, but rather to carry out the instruction of the Trustees of the Body Corporate in resolving complaints at the property.

The response of the Trustees, who are all practicing Hindus, was as a result of a complaint of excessive smoke that was emanating from the garden of an apartment where, it is thought that Hawan mixture was being burnt in a Hawan Kund. It is the second time over the last 12 months that this issue has been addressed.

Wakefields statement on Saturday, September 12

Other recent incidents of racial and religious intolerance that have plagued the South African Indian community is the Isipingo Azaan ban as well as the demolition of a century-old temple in Port Shepstone, tap here to read more.

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