Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is a religious man by all accounts, but he denies calling for prayers ahead of further unrest in South Africa.
Mogoeng, who is on three-and-a-half months leave that started on 1 May, denied he was the voice behind the WhatsApp message doing the rounds.
On Monday the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) said it had become aware of the voice note circulating on WhatsApp and social media “purporting to be a recording of Chief Justice Mogoeng”.
The OCJ said in the voice note, the speaker invites prayers for the country after presenting so-called facts of future events related to civil unrest.
“The voice note is not that of the chief justice,” said the OCJ.
“Any communication from the chief justice will be done through formal channels either through his private office, through the spokesperson for the Judiciary, or through the OCJ.
“Members of the public and media are requested to contact the OCJ to verify the authenticity of any article, communication, or social media post that purports to be that of a judge before attributing statements made on any platform to a judge.”