This does not, however, translate into a theocratic society, or even one where religion enters into everyday life, because of the diversity of beliefs and the tolerance for other beliefs.
Personally I almost never hear religious discussions, and at work I sit within 5m of a hindu, a muslim, two unknowns, and a christian fundamentalist.
One the one hand this makes for a country fairly free from religious influence, on the other hand it makes for a country where nobody wants to step on each others toes and religious and cultural practices are perhaps too protected, bad things are excused under the guise of beliefs. It is quite common to hear of court cases where the accused claim that demons or evil spirits or witchcraft were mitigating factors.
Anyway, currently there is an interesting situation where the chief justice, a doubtful appointment in the first place due to various factors, has shown a complete lack of judgement.
On the one hand I am disappointed that such an idiot can end up in charge, which is typical of this country, where political appointments are on the buddy-buddy system. On the other hand I am encouraged that the checks and balances in terms of law and procedure seem to be tripping him up quite effectively.
On paper our laws and procedures are pretty good, in reality the people still have a lot of catching up to do, as the laws were written by the educated in the middle, and the reality is dominated by the uneducated masses at the bottom who vote in the corrupt and incompetent at the top.
Pressure is mounting on Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as increasing criticism of his ethical judgment is levelled and a call is made that he be censured by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) following his request that senior members of the judiciary attend a "leadership conference" hosted by a United States evangelist.
The response of several judges who spoke to the Mail & Guardian ranged from "astonishment" at his lack of judgment and appreciation for the separation of church and state to "deep concern" that he was "grooming judges to attend prayer meetings and bring them around to his religious perspective".