NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on June 5, 2014.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Wednesday denied trying to push religion down South Africans’ throats, saying his comments had been misunderstood.
In a press conference held this afternoon, Mogoeng said those who did not read his speech and only got bits of it are the people who have “misunderstood” him.
Speaking at an annual conference in Stellenbosch last week he sparked outrage came from the public when Mogoeng suggested that religion should inform some of our law making processes.
Mogoeng said he spoke about law and religion because that was the theme of the conference.
“I spoke about religion and law because the conference was about religion and law,” said Mogoeng bluntly.
Mogoeng said he highlighted all religions and not just Christianity, “there are treasures in all religions in Africa” he went on to use Ubuntu as an example.
Mogoeng added that all religions practiced properly teach tolerance and love and by so doing shape society.
The chief justice felt that he had not betrayed the constitution in anyway, “I take my oath of office very seriously. I will not give precedence to my religion at the expense of the law”.
When the chief justice finished reading his prepared statement, he ended with “God bless you” before opening the floor for questions.