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?
The President explained that he deferred taking the action directed in the SARS Report because its lawfulness was being challenged and the question of whether he can take disciplinary action, absent an employment relationship, is yet to be decided. This was the correct approach by the President as it is in line with the decision in EFF I. The President has undertaken to act as directed, should the SARS Report withstand judicial review. The interim interdict serves an important purpose – it suspends the binding effect of the Public Protector’s remedial action until finalisation of the review proceedings. This is not an act that undermines the Public Protector. Rather, it preserves the interdict-applicant’s rights while showing due respect to the binding powers of the Public Protector.BACK TO TOP