South Africa’s former chief justice on Thursday apologized for comments he made in 2020 pledging support for Israel, the New Arab reported.
The apology came nearly a year after Mogoeng Mogoeng, who is a devout Christian, was ordered to apologize for misconduct by getting entangled in political controversy, “criticizing and proposing changes to the official policy of the South African Government towards Israel”.
Mogoeng Mogoeng: #Africa4Palestine accepts ‘forced’ apologyhttps://t.co/WQ08sXinjj#Africa4Palestine has welcomed former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's apology on his pro-Israel remarks he made in 2020.
— TheSouthAfrican.com (@TheSAnews) February 4, 2022
At the time of the offense in June 2020, he told an online conference organized by the Jerusalem Post, that South Africa deprived itself of “a wonderful opportunity of being a game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian situation”.
South African government supports the Palestinian cause and in 2019 it downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison office.
The country’s Judiciary Conduct Committee which probed the judge’s comments following a complaint, last year found the remarks “offending” and “particularly aggravating”, and ordered him to apologize, but he appealed that decision.
[STATEMENT📹] Muhammed Desai @Africa4Pal welcomes former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's "forced" apology, objects to Mogoeng's framing of the complaint as religious, says this insinuation is an insult to Palestine's Christian community@MuhammedDesai #Palestine #Mogoeng pic.twitter.com/ocLSl3HEAa
— salaamedia (@salaamedia) February 3, 2022
But the earlier decision was upheld and on Thursday he said in a statement: “I am now forced by the law… to apologize unconditionally.” The appeals panel found him to have involved himself in “extrajudicial activities”.
Mogoeng Mogoeng retired last year. Interviews for the new chief justice are underway this week.
The controversial judge also came under heavy criticism when he publicly prayed in December 2020 against “satanic” Covid-19 vaccines, asking God that they be “destroyed by fire”.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)