South Africa’s Chief Justice facing misconduct charges over Covid-19 “devil” vaccines remark

PRESS STATEMENT: South Africa’s Chief Justice facing misconduct charges over Covid-19 “devil” vaccines remark


The human rights organisation #Africa4Palestine echoes the concerns expressed by fellow South Africans following yesterday’s reckless remarks by South Africa’s Chief Justice, the honourable Mogoeng Mogoeng.

In his address at Tembisa Hospital near Johannesburg Mogoeng made the following startling statements: “If there be any vaccine that is of the devil, meant to infuse 666 in the lives of people, meant to corrupt their DNA, any such vaccine, Lord God almighty, may it be destroyed by fire, in the name of Jesus.” (click here)

We are consulting with our legal team to see if additional charges can be added to our current complaint against Justice Mogoeng. Failing which we will launch a new complaint with the Judicial Services Commission against Mogoeng’s latest vaccine remarks.

Chief Justice Mogoeng is already facing an enquiry into allegations of misconduct following his pro-Israel comments from earlier this year (click here). The matter is being adjudicated by Judge Mojapelo, the Deputy Judge President of the South Gauteng High Court, who was appointed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, following a complaint that #Africa4Palestine lodged with the Judicial Services Commissions (JSC).

We believe that the Chief Justice’s latest comments undermine medical science and South Africa’s position on the distribution of vaccines. Moreover we are of the opinion that these latest remarks on vaccines are similar to Mogoeng’s pro-Israel comments – both are examples of the Chief Justice entering controversial issues which clearly violate the JSC’s Code of Conduct.

The Chief Justice is again failing to uphold the integrity of the office and position he holds. By terming certain vaccines as “666” or the “devil’s vaccines” he is undermining not only medical science but also contradicting our government’s position on vaccines.

We are confident that such outlandish fanatic speech and denial of medical science during a pandemic is a violation the JSC’s Code of Conduct which explicitly urges judges to refrain from such controversies.

While we acknowledge Justice Mogoeng’s previous judgments and the important role that he has played in our judiciary, we are of the firm opinion that his position asks of him to uphold international law, respect medical science, not interfere in South Africa’s national and international relations as well as health policies. Chief Justice Mogoeng’s comments on Israel and on vaccines are unacceptable, unbecoming and undermine the human rights as well as the safety of Palestinians and South Africans alike.


DATE: 11 December 2020

Director, Muhammed Desai: +27 (0) 84 211 9988
Spokesperson, Tisetso Magama: +27 (0) 61 4146348