Chief Justice Mogoeng 'turns down' meeting with Africa4Palestine over pro-Israeli comments

22 March 2021 - 19:29 By orrin singh
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has allegedly declined yet another request to meet with Africa4Palestine to discuss his pro-Israeli comment made last year
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has allegedly declined yet another request to meet with Africa4Palestine to discuss his pro-Israeli comment made last year
Image: Halden Krog

Human rights organisation Africa4Palestine reacted bitterly after Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng “turned down” an invitation to meet to discuss his breach of the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) code of conduct for his pro-Israeli comments.

Earlier this month, the JCC found Mogoeng guilty and ordered him to apologise unconditionally for becoming involved in political controversy through his utterances in an online seminar hosted by The Jerusalem Post on June 23, 2020.

Africa4Palestine's discontent follows Mogoeng's refusal to meet them on two occasions, the latest being at the weekend. Mogoeng's office has not responded to a statement by the organisation on Monday, where it said it had reached out to Mogoeng because it genuinely wanted to engage with him.

“The Chief Justice proclaims that he is an advocate of dialogue and yet he does not want to engage.”

They accused Mogoeng of intimidation, saying he has gone on public platforms making outlandish statements and casting insults.

“It would seem that the Chief Justice does not appreciate the human rights concerns of the Palestinian people and is blind in his support of the Israeli regime. He confuses a complaint laid within the rules of the JSC with 'disgrace'.”

Last week TimesLIVE reported that Mogoeng had chosen to appeal against a decision by the JCC.

The Sunday Times reported in June last year that Mogoeng had made the remarks during a webinar organised by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.

In his webinar comments, Mogoeng seemed to base his pro-Israel stance on passages from the Bible.

Mogoeng participated in a webinar entitled Two Chiefs, One Mission: Confronting Apartheid of the Heart with the chief rabbi of SA, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, hosted by The Jerusalem Post.

The moderator, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Yakoov Katz, asked Mogoeng about his love for the Jewish people, for Israel, for the state of Israel and his thoughts on the tense diplomatic relations between SA and Israel.

In a long-winded response, Mogoeng began by acknowledging that the policy direction taken by SA was binding on him, as any other law would be.

“So, whatever I have to say should not be misunderstood as an attempt to say the policy direction taken by my country in terms of their constitutional responsibilities is not binding on me. But just as a citizen, any citizen is entitled to criticise the laws and the policies of SA or even suggest that changes are necessary, and that’s where I come from,” he said.

TimesLIVE has reached out to Mogoeng's spokesperson Nathi Mncube for comment and the story will be updated once he responds.


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