- The South African Council of Churches previously spoke with a well-known media publication about its stance on religious gatherings and Covid-19
- The council wishes to have religious gatherings in its own category, however, other religious bodies had differing opinions on the matter
- Briefly News spoke with the South African Board of Jewish Deputies as well as the Hindu Maha Sabha to gain insight into their opinions on gatherings
At the end of May, the South African Council of Churches released a statement in which it spoke about religious gatherings. The council believes that religious gatherings should be separated from the category of gatherings in terms of Covid-19 regulations.
The council stated that there is a difference between gatherings and religious gatherings. It explained that the behaviour of gatherings and religious gatherings were not at all the same.
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana SACC General-Secretary believes that religious gatherings should be separated as it is inappropriate to place restrictions on the former.
According to SABC News, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that indoor gatherings can have up to 100 people in attendance while outdoor gatherings can have up to 250 people. Briefly News spoke to a few religious organisations to see where they stand on the matter.
South African Board of Jewish Deputies
Rabbi Gidon Fox stated that religious, or otherwise, gatherings need to follow the proper protocols.
"The function of the gathering is less important and it is imprudent to assume that if one is partaking in a religious gathering that they are safe from Covid-19."
South African Hindu Maha Sabha
The President of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha Ashwin Trikamjee stated that religious gatherings should be separated, however, religious bodies should not be governed on their own.
"As long as it (gatherings) are not in contravention of the law," he added.
In other news, Briefly News reported that human rights organisation Africa4Palestine said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng declined to meet with them. The organisation reportedly asked to speak with the Chief Justice to speak about his pro-Israel remarks.
They reportedly received a short email stating that the Chief Justice was unavailable for any meeting. Africa4Palestine expressed their frustration by stating that Mogoeng had met with Israeli organisations previously but refuses to have the same mindset for local organisations.
Africa4Palestine offered to meet with Mogoeng after the Judicial Conduct Committee ruled that the Chief Justice should apologise for his remarks of pledging his love for Israel due to religious reasons.
This follows news that the Chief Justice mentioned during the webinar that due to his religion he had an 'obligation' to love Israel and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Mogoeng is known for his strong Christian faith and beliefs.
Various complaints were made against Mogoeng following the webinar last year by different organisations. Mogeong had been given 10 days to apologise. A report by TimesLIVE stated that Mogoeng also cited Bible scripture.
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