Extract

The cabinet sworn in by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng this week seems to be the product of deals, trade-offs and compromises struck in secret, which in the end leaves it resembling scrambled eggs. It is neither fish nor fowl.

Mercifully, we were spared the prayers. A week earlier in parliament the chief justice went down on his knees to pray before swearing in the MPs. He was out of order. At the inauguration, he gave President Cyril Ramaphosa a copy of the Bible. Why not the Qur'an or the Torah or ...?

Mogoeng is our chief justice, not SA's self-proclaimed uber bishop, and his responsibilities are enunciated in the constitution. Nowhere does it include prayer. He should therefore stop the freelancing. SA is a secular state, not a theocracy. Religious affiliation is a private matter.

When Ramaphosa took over from Jacob Zuma, it was understandable that he would keep most of his predecessor’s appointees in his cabinet. We were informed he was merely completing Zuma’s term and therefore could not completely clean out the Augean stables, as it were.

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