Mogoeng: You’re free to be promiscuous but consider putting on the brakes

2014-06-04 17:57

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has assured South Africans they are “entitled to be as promiscuous as you want” but that we should perhaps slow down when it comes to the topic.

Mogoeng was this afternoon back-pedalling his office out of people’s bedrooms after a contentious speech last week in which he said religion could play a greater role in the law.

In the speech, Mogoeng said a “legal framework that frowns upon adultery, fornication, separation and divorce” could help curb a variety of society’s ills.

Speaking this afternoon, Mogoeng said that his speech had merely been an attempt for South Africans to attempt to find their own solutions to problems.

“Can we put it [religion] on the table, discuss it and reject it if we believe that religion has got nothing to offer,” said the chief justice.

In what was at times a confusing speech, Mogoeng pointed to specific examples where he believed all religions, and even people who weren’t religious, could play a more active role in putting solutions on the table.

“Are we making it too easy for divorces to happen without much regard to possible implications on the lives of children. What do religious principles have to say about this?”

The chief justice also suggested that criminality flowed from divorce.

“Have you reflected on the possible impact on your children? Do you want to see your children being involved in crime because both of you were not available when they needed the counsel you’ve been giving them all the time?” asked Mogoeng.

He also corrected his earlier speech, saying he had omitted the word “promiscuous” from the part that dealt with fornication.

“Have you considered what the impact of promiscuity, what the possible impact of promiscuity is on the spread of HIV/Aids, how many people are suffering because of the tendency to move around without informing your partners about how many other people you’re involved in a sexual relationship with?”

But the chief justice was firm that the high-water mark of his speech had been to suggest that religious groupings organise themselves better to participate in the law-making process.

“I am in no position to make any law, in no position to change any Constitution, in no position to draft any national policy.”

Mogoeng said he took his “oath of office very seriously and I will not give precedence to my faith at the expense of the Constitution of this country and at the expense of the laws of this country”.

Mogoeng also referred specifically to the rights of gays and lesbians, saying it was his duty to ensure that they enjoyed their rights.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.