Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has apologised for his pro-Israel comments after losing his appeal against a legal complaint filed by pro-Palestine group Africa4Palestine and others.
The apology was issued in a statement by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) on Thursday.
He had until midnight to retract his statement.
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.
Mogoeng said while the rule of law is one of foundational values of the democratic state, it demands all including the Chief Justice to comply with all lawful orders however much he might disagree with them.
Mogoeng said he is being forced by the law, the order of the lawfully constituted Appeal Panel of the Judicial Conduct Committee to apologise unconditionally in terms of the prescribed apology.
“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 23 June 2020, in which I participated”
The former chief justice began his statement with an acknowledgement of “666” in reference to the day when the outcome of his appeal was given.
Some Christians believe it to be the mark of a beast from the Revelations book in the Bible.