Mogoeng Mogoeng ‘unwillingly’ apologises for pro-Israel comments

Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has reluctantly apologised for expressing pro-Israel comments which placed him at the centre of controversy.

The apology was made just hours before the 10 day deadline set by the Judicial Conduct Committee on Thursday, 3 February 2022.

He had previously sworn he would never apologise for his utterances, which were made during a webinar that was hosted by The Jerusalem Post back in 2020, when he was still the head of the Constitutional Court.

It’s clear that the former CJ only issued the apology because he was bound by law – and in line with an order by the the Judicial Conduct Committee.

“And because I am not above the law, I hereby apologise as ordered: ‘I, Mogoeng Mogoeng, the former chief justice of the Republic of South Africa, hereby apologise unconditionally for becoming involved in political controversy through my utterances at the online seminar (webinar) hosted by The Jerusalem Post on June 23 2020, in which I participated’,”

Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

BACKGROUND: MOGOENG MOGOENG’S PRO-ISRAEL COMMENTS

During the webinar, the former CJ lamented South Africa’s current stance on the Israel-Palestine matter and called for a more balanced approach, to enable greater change in the debate.

“The forgiveness that was demonstrated, the understanding and big heart displayed by President Nelson Mandela and we, the people of South Africa, is an asset we must use around the world to bring peace when there is no peace and to mediate effectively based on rich experience”, he said.

“We would do well to reflect on the objectivity involved in adopting a particular attitude towards a particular country that has not taken as much and unjustly from South Africa and Africa as other nations that we consider it to be an honour to have diplomatic relations with us”

Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

The remark was met with backlash and he was reported to the Judicial Conduct Committee, which found him guilty and ordered him to apologise.

He challenged the ruling with the Judicial Conduct Appeals Committee – which ruled against him – finding that Mogoeng breached the Judicial Code of Conduct by involving himself in matters that caused political controversy.

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