Liberals and atheists are keeping their eyes on Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng waiting for him to do something objectionable, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party said on Saturday.
Theunis Botha was reacting to a Thursday report that Mogoeng had sent an email instructing judges to attend a leadership conference by a United States evangelist.
"It would appear that the liberals and atheists are keeping their beady eyes on Mogoeng, just waiting for him to do something they can object to," said Botha in a statement.
"And why? All because he is a committed Christian and adheres to a Christian value system.
"Had he been a devout atheist adhering to a liberal value system, that is as much ‘religion' as Christianity, he would have been able to act according to his convictions with impunity," said Botha.
He said liberals demanded fair judgements from the chief justice but then doubted him, suspicious of his Christian stance.
Mogoeng told the Business Day on Friday that he did not compel any judge to attend the course. He said the reports were doing a "disservice to our country" by taking things "out of context and to sensationalise".
According to the Mail & Guardian Online a legal academic, who did not want to be named, said the language used in the e-mail "was judicial language for 'you must go'".
Lulama Luti, Mogoeng's spokeswoman said in statement on Friday: "... At a meeting of the heads of courts in Johannesburg today... the heads of courts present unanimously stated that they had not felt compelled to attend the conference."