Chief Justice warns SA faces becoming a laughing stock

Mogoeng Mogoeng was speaking at a lecture at KwaZulu-Natal University’s Howard College last night.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: Vumnai Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has reportedly warned that until South Africa gets its act together, it will be a laughing stock and prophets of doom will keep calling the country yet another failed African state.

Mogoeng was speaking at the fourteenth Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge Memorial Lecture at the KwaZulu-Natal University's Howard College last night.

News24 is reporting that the Chief Justice said "South Africans, it's now or never. Quicken your conscience to lifeā€¦ you will realise, like I have, that I have been sitting comfortably on a very uncomfortable situation; I have been idling by when my country demanded so much more from me."

He told the audience that South Africa has the potential to be the best country in the world, but that depends on what the country does going forward.

Last week, Mogoeng said it's time for change in South Africa in order to achieve the goals of the Constitution under ethical leadership.

WATCH: Chief Justice Mogoeng: We need ethical leadership now more than ever

Last month, he delivered a historic judgment in the Nkandla case, saying President Jacob Zuma had breached his Constitutional duty by ignoring the Public Protector's remedial action.

He said, "If anybody ever needed a bell to be sounded to say the time for the change we've all been waiting for, in every sector of our lives, including the economy, this is it."

Mogoeng didn't mention Zuma during his speech, but made reference to other former presidents.

"I'm not too sure that it's ethical for the president to be doing what was done with Monica Lewinsky by the way. Mandela is an example of ethical leadership."

He said South Africa needs ethical leaders who can inspire and encourage to pursue a common goal.

"If there ever was a time to embrace ethical leadership, stop spinning, stop manipulating, stop relying on our supporters or sympathisers to do wrong knowing that our own doing will be covered up in some way, that time is now."