My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE
MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF MINISTER ROY PADAYACHIE
8 May 2012
Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng today expressed his deep sadness at the sudden and untimely passing of Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie at the weekend.
In paying tribute to Minister Padayachie, Chief Justice Mogoeng said: “Observing from a distance, Minister Padayachie struck me as someone who served our country with laudable gallantry and great distinction. The only official engagement that brought the late Minister and I together, was my request in relation to the composition of the panel that is to interview the Head of the new national Department known as the Office of the Chief Justice. He, in consultation with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, responded positively and with great speed to our proposal that contrary to the norm, the panel should comprise more members of the Judiciary than of the Executive, in support of the independence of the Judiciary. We will always remember him as someone who was committed to speedy delivery of quality service to our people.”
The Chief Justice added that it was telling that Minister Padayachie passed on while in Ethiopia – doing what he stood for, delivering service not only to the country, but to the African continent as a whole.
“I wish to express a word of deep condolence to his family, friends and colleagues in government. I also wish to convey a special word of gratitude to his family for allowing us to share him with them.
His untimely departure will leave an emptiness that will be hard to fill and we hope his selfless service and contribution to building a united, just and truly free South Africa will be remembered by many generations to come” said Chief Justice Mogoeng.
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