KZN prince backs Mogoeng Mogoeng's pro-Israel comments, hits back at ANC

30 June 2020 - 16:16
By Zimasa Matiwane
Prince Zwelakhe Mthethwa has defended chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, accusing the ANC of presiding over  abuse of human rights in 'unprocessed land claims ... and whereby citizens are denied their equitable share in the economic franchise'. File photo.
Image: Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu Prince Zwelakhe Mthethwa has defended chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, accusing the ANC of presiding over abuse of human rights in 'unprocessed land claims ... and whereby citizens are denied their equitable share in the economic franchise'. File photo.

Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has received support from an unlikely ally, a leader of a tribe in KwaZulu-Natal.

During a webinar hosted last week by The Jerusalem Post on global racial tensions, Mogoeng drew massive criticism for comments attributed to him which were deemed favourable to Israel.

Prince Zwelakhe Mthethwa of the Mthethwa tribe in KwaZulu-Natal has come out in defence of the chief justice.

During the webinar, Mogoeng criticised SA for its disapproval of Israel's policies on Palestinians while the country was still entwined with its former colonisers.

“Have we cut diplomatic ties with our colonisers? Have we disinvested from our former colonisers and those responsible for untold suffering in South Africa and Africa? Did Israel take away our land or the land of Africa, did Israel take our mineral wealth?” he said.

This is in conflict with SA’s posture towards Israel as SA downgraded  its embassy in Tel Aviv and the governing ANC maintained its solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Mogoeng’s comments earned fury from the governing ANC.

In a statement, Mthethwa said the party had no leg to stand on as it also presided over abuse of human rights in unprocessed land claims and “whereby citizens are denied their equitable share in the economic franchise”.

“The government only seconds their elites to participate in the economic fabric without benefiting the majority of people of this country. That is another violation of human rights.

“We have a traditional leadership framework that is supposed to elevate the plight of the kings to be able to be recognised by the courts and institutionalise the tribal court's judgments as law. Instead, they are denied that right. That is another violation of human rights,” Mthethwa said.

Mthethwa further accused the ANC government of failing to include “kings and Christians” in the economy, something he claimed was inconsistent with the principles of majority rule.

He hailed Mogoeng as a champion of the people, and credited him with the landmark Constitutional Court ruling that allows independent candidates to run for elections at provincial and national level, saying this will level the political playing field.

This is despite the judgment being delivered by Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga and concurred by seven other justices, and the challenge having been brought  by four applicants, namely  New Nation Movement NPC, Chantal Dawn Revell, GRO and Indigenous First Nation Advocacy SA.

The chief justice is also credited with having said: “I cannot do otherwise, as a Christian, than to love and to pray for Israel because I know that my hatred or that of my nation for Israel can only draw serious calamities on my nation.”

Mthethwa argued that Mogoeng was within his rights to reflect on his religious practice, a right recognised by the bill of rights in the constitution.

“According to the principles of separation of powers, the chief justice can't be told by the executive or the legislature how to run and execute his judicial mandate.”

Israel continues to face global criticism and is often labelled an “apartheid state”.