Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng defends a speech he gave in Stellenbosch last week about religion and the law during a news conference in Johannesburg, Wednesday, 4 June 2014.He caused a stir by suggesting religion could be used to strengthen legislation and lead to a better society. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Pretoria - A lack of resources often prevents fast and quality justice in some African countries, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Monday.

In a speech prepared for delivery at an African Union workshop on “Constitutionalism and Rule of Law” in Pretoria, Mogoeng said the disdain with which the judiciary was treated by several African countries was a matter of grave concern.

“The future of constitutionalism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as good governance is in danger for as long as the suppressed but self-evident desire to muzzle the judiciary is discernible from one of or the two political arms of the State,” said Mogoeng.

He said it was important that the judiciary be allocated more resources and its independence be protected.

The judiciary would also be strengthened if regional courts or tribunals, like the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal, were established, he said.