After concluding with his statement prepared for a briefing aimed at updating the public on measures taken by the judiciary during the global coronavirus outbreak, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng went off the cuff and implored people to pray more regularly.
A devout Christian, who once said in an interview that he believed God intended for him to be the chief justice, he cited the national anthem, which he said was a call to prayer, much like the preamble of the constitution. It says, “God protect (bless) South Africa.”
“My call is to all those who can pray, to see it as an absolute necessity starting from today to do so.
“At least every Wednesday and every Sunday, go out there in groups that do not exceed 70 to pray knowing that, with prayer, nothing is impossible.”
During a different point in the briefing, he said: “We trust in the executive to make the resources available to disinfect courts and ensure that the police and inmates who appear in court are protected.”
The funding for all the measures that will be implemented at court to limit the spread of coronavirus would come from government and take the form of petty cash in the interim, which would be used to purchase the necessary items.
Among the measures that would be implemented would be the disinfecting of courts, the issuing of heavy-duty gloves, disposable gowns, protective eyewear and masks to officials as well as screening and temperature checks for both judicial staff and members of the public at courts.
Mogoeng stated that it would be imperative that all court buildings had running water, toilet paper and disinfectant, including sanitisers, in order to limit the spread of the virus.
Additionally, he advised that court staff that had travelled abroad or been exposed to someone who tested positive, should self isolate.
"We are exposed, we are not protected. My call is to all those who can pray to see it as an absolute necessity to do so. We need not to be as cursed as we appear to be by this virus, we need an economy that is flourishing"- Chief Justice Mogoeng #COVID19SouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/7yefrxyLgD— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 17, 2020
“I don’t have the power to do anything about the matter involving Western Cape judge president John Hlophe,” said Mogoeng before adding that the power lay with the Judicial Services Commission.
He asked for the necessary processes to be allowed to play themselves out in order for this to reach an official conclusion.
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