28/02/2018 07:55 SAST | Updated 28/02/2018 07:55 SAST

'Gatvol' Mogoeng Reminds Ministers: Only Those Of Integrity Should Swear The Oath Of Office

Mogoeng Mogoeng warned ministers that they would be judged "brutally" if they broke their oaths.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng took everyone by surprise when, during the swearing in of the new Cabinet ministers on Tuesday, he departed from his planned remarks to remind the ministers of the seriousness of their oath of office.

Mogoeng said he would be "failing in his duty" if he did not "underscore" the importance of the oath of office.

He said that the oath of office could not be treated as inconsequential, and said that the assumption is that "only people who have a measure of credibility and integrity" and "some character to write about" should be elected as public servants.

"I'm not here because I have nothing to do, I could easily have designated this to the judge president of the high court. I came here because... it is absolutely necessary that we conscientise ourselves as deputy president, deputy ministers and ministers about the profundity of the responsibility we are about to assume," he said.

He added that if there was anyone who felt like they could not agree with these sentiments, they should leave the room.

Those in the room commented that Mogoeng seemed "gatvol" with public servants who did not take their oath of office seriously.

Mogoeng said those who betrayed their oath of office should be judged "most brutally".