Former South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng Told to Apologize for Supporting Israel

Mogoeng Mogoeng (Rodger Bosch / AFP / Getty)
Rodger Bosch / AFP / Getty

Former South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was asked Friday by a judicial panel to apologize for remarks he made in 2020 supporting the State of Israel.

Mogoeng had offered support for Israel during a webinar hosted by the Jerusalem Post. South Africa’s Independent Online reported at the time:

Among other remarks, Mogoeng, a staunch Christian, said during The Jerusalem Post virtual conference: “The first verse I give is in Psalms 122 verse 6 which says: ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee’. Also Genesis 12 verses 1 to 3 says to me as a Christian, if I curse Abraham and Israel the Almighty God will curse me too. So, I am under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which actually means the peace of Israel. I cannot, as a Christian, do anything other than love and pray for Israel because I know hatred for Israel by me and my nation can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation”.

Breitbart News added at the time:

Many South Africans, like Christians in other African countries, have positive views of Israel. But the country’s left-wing political elite, deeply influenced by Soviet allegiances during the Cold War, as well as by an influential Muslim minority and current intellectual fashion, is virulently anti-Israel.

Mogoeng expressed his admiration for Israel, and suggested that South Africa could offer productive advice to Israel and the Palestinians if it stopped condemning Israel so often.

In 2021, South Africa’s Judicial Conduct Committee ordered Mogoeng to apologize. He refused, and appealed. On Friday, his appeal was rejected, as Independent Online reported:

Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been asked to issue a public apology within 10 days after the Judicial Appeals Conduct Committee found against him, on his remarks on Israel.

The Judicial Appeals Conduct Committee said it agreed that Mogoeng had breached the Judicial Code of Conduct over his remarks.

“Pursuant to this decision, the committee, by a majority, directed that Chief Justice Mogoeng should issue an unconditional apology for becoming involved in political controversy through his utterances at the online seminar (webinar) hosted by the Jerusalem Post on June 23, 2020. 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 the decision,” said the judicial conduct committee.

It remains unclear what Mogoeng will do, though some on social media urged him not to apologize.

Last month, Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, won 2nd runner-up at the Miss Universe competition in Eilat, Israel, even after her own country’s government dropped its support for her candidacy after she refused to boycott the Jewish state.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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