Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been ordered to apologise for his pro-Israel comments after losing his appeal against a legal complaint filed by pro-Palestine group Africa4Palestine and others.
Mogoeng came under severe criticism following his remarks during a webinar with The Jerusalem newspaper in June 2020 where he lamented the South African government’s policy regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict and said that it would have greater influence if it displayed a more balanced approach.
When asked to apologise, Mogoeng said “even if fifty million people can march every day for the next ten years for me to retract and apologise for what I said, I will not do it.”
In a letter to Africa4Palestine’s Mohammad Desai, Judicial Conduct Committee Secretary Sello Chiloane said that the Judicial Conduct Appeals Committee found that Mogoeng breached Article 12(1)(b) of the Judicial Code of Conduct in that he, through his utterances, involved himself in political controversy.
“The Committee further found that Chief Justice Mogoeng breached Article 4(2)(a) of the Code of Judicial Conduct in that he was involved in extra-judicial activities which are incompatible with the confidence in and the impartiality of Judges.”
Chiloane said the committee, by a majority also directed that Mogoeng should issue an apology.
“A copy of the apology must be released by Chief Justice Mogoeng to the Office of the Chief Justice and the media within 10 days of this decision.”
Africa 4 Palestine laid a complaint about Mogoeng’s comments in March last year.