Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been ordered to apologise and retract comments he made about Israel during a webinar last year. PHOTO: GCIS

SOUTH African Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been ordered to apologise for and retract pro-Israel comments he made during a webinar in June last year.

The Judicial Conduct Committee found Mogoeng guilty and ordered him to apologise unconditionally for becoming involved in political controversy through his utterances during a webinar hosted by The Jerusalem Post on June 23 2020.

An NGO, Africa 4 Palestine, the SA Boycott Disinvestments and Sanctions Coalition (SA BDS Coalition) and a Durban-based Women’s Cultural Group (WCG) complained separately to the Judicial Service Commission about Mogoeng’s comments in July.

Africa 4 Palestine’s Muhammed Desai on Thursday welcomed the judgment delivered by judge Phineas Mojapelo.

“Africa 4 Palestine warmly welcomes the precedent-setting decision by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) that has been drafted by deputy president judge Phineas Mojapelo – which has found the chief justice of South Africa Mogoeng Mogoeng in contravention of the JSC’s code of conduct for his pro-Israel comments made last year. Africa 4 Palestine would like to thank all our supporters and the brilliant legal team that represented us in this matter,” said Desai.

At a webinar last year, Mogoeng, a staunch Christian, said during the Jerusalem Post virtual conference: “The first verse I give is in Psalms 122 verse 6, which says: ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.’ Also Genesis 12 verses 1 to 3 says to me as a Christian, if I curse Abraham and Israel, the Almighty God will curse me, too. So, I am under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which actually means the peace of Israel. I cannot, as a Christian, do anything other than love and pray for Israel because I know hatred for Israel by me and my nation can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation.” 

“I think as a citizen of this country, we are denying ourselves a wonderful opportunity of being game-changers in the Israeli–Palestinian situation. We know what it means to be at loggerheads, to be a nation at war with itself,” Chief Justice Mogoeng said.


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