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Health group lodges complaint over Mogoeng's COVID-19 vaccine utterances

While leading a prayer at the Tembisa Hospital last year, the chief justice asked God to destroy any vaccine containing what he called "666" - numbers Christians believe to be the mark of the devil.

FILE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivering the 17th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto Campus on 23 November 2019. Picture: @NelsonMandela/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Health advocacy group The African Alliance on Wednesday said it filed a formal complaint with the Judicial Services Commission against Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng following his unfounded, remarks about COVID-19 vaccines.

While leading a prayer at the Tembisa Hospital last year, the chief justice asked God to destroy any vaccine containing what he called "666" - numbers Christians believe to be the mark of the devil.

WATCH: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng defends '666' vaccine prayer

The African Alliance said while Mogoeng repeatedly defended his comments, the ideas implied that the vaccine could be dangerous without providing any evidence to back up the claim.

READ: Calls for Mogoeng to be sacked after Satanic COVID-19 remarks

The group's Tian Johnson said that, as the highest jurist in the country, Mogoeng’s utterances undermined the public's confidence in life-saving and scientifically tested vaccines.

“South Africa is at a crossroads where the rollout of the COVID vaccine is coming up very shortly and we need to do everything that we can to support communities’ understanding of the safety of vaccines. So, utterances such as the Chief Justice Mogoeng’s takes the work we’ve been doing back,” Johnson added.

MOGOENG'S COMMENTS DANGEROUS

The African Alliance said existing legal framework should be used against those who continue to peddle harmful and incorrect information around regulated, scientifically proven COVID-19 vaccines.

Johnson said while Mogoeng has defended his comments on the COVID-19 vaccine his remarks were dangerous, and warned that leaders should not undermine the influence they have on communities who rely on them for guidance.

“As a legal scholar himself, he of all people should know that there are legal bodies that are set up to ensure absolute vaccine safety.”

The group said it would continue to use the legal framework to hold those in power to account for the false and harmful remarks they make about life-saving vaccines.

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