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Calls for Mogoeng to be sacked after satanic COVID vaccine remarks

The Progressive Health Forum wants the head of South Africa's judiciary to be dismissed following statements in which he suggested that companies could be manufacturing satanic COVID-19 vaccines.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the handing over of the list of members of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures on 15 May 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - An association of health experts on Thursday said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should be sacked for what it called his failure to uphold professional and ethical standards.

The Progressive Health Forum wants the head of South Africa's judiciary to be dismissed after statements in which he suggested that companies could be manufacturing satanic COVID-19 vaccines.

While paying tribute to nurses at Tembisa Hospital in Ekurhuleni last week, Mogoeng led a prayer that prompted outrage.

While Mogoeng claimed to have been misunderstood, the forum's Dr Aslam Dasoo said his remarks were irresponsible.

“Our issue is more of our concern with his professionalism and his ethical conduct. For him to have used a public platform to have invoked a malicious prayer against vaccines is highly irresponsible as a senior member of the government.”

Mogoeng last week defended the contents of a prayer he delivered on Thursday, saying there was nothing untoward about his actions because South Africa was a secular state.

While answering questions at the release of the judiciary annual report for 2019/2020, Mogoeng said he was praying that God would destroy any vaccine containing “666” - numbers Christians believed to be the mark of the devil.

“I’m not going to be begging for permission to pray – never. In public and in private, I’m going to pray all the more. It is my Constitutional right – I am a Christian and I am not going to be hypocritical. Being a robust Christian in public and in private, I pretend, maybe so that when I deliver judgments that are in line with my Christian principals, people cannot spot it. I’m not that guy. We need to be open and we need to be transparent and that’s where I am.”

ALSO READ: Mogoeng criticises govt's failure to have funds available to modernise courts

The global community is racing to finalise experiments on a number of vaccines as more people die from the pandemic - with many countries, including South Africa - battling a second wave of infections.

Some countries including the United Kingdom have already started vaccinations.

At the same time, many are raising concerns about how the Chief Justice's comments will impact on the public's perception of the judiciary.

Chris Oxtoby, a senior researcher at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit, said: “I think the position that he holds, as the head of the judiciary and as a very influential person in South Africa, it’s an important dynamic of that. I just don’t think it’s particularly wise or responsible for those kinds of remarks to be creating a kind of ambiguity about vaccines.”

The South African Council of Churches’ general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said Mogoeng was free to speak on matters outside of the office but there should always be caution on certain matters.

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