Johannesburg – Human rights group #Africa4Palestine has officially filed papers opposing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's appeal of the Judicial Conduct Committee's decision that he apologise for his pro-Israel comments.
The group noted that the papers were filed as conflict reignited between Israel and Palestine.
“While the world is shocked and protesting the horrific attacks by the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people, it would seem that South Africa's Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng remains firmly on the side of apartheid Israel,” the group wrote in a statement on Thursday.
Mogoeng's appeal of the JCC decision is set to be heard on June 11. The committee found that Mogoeng had erred in his comments and ordered that he publicly apologise, but he instead chose to appeal the decision.
The investigation stems from comments Mogoeng made last year during a Jerusalem Post webinar, where he claimed to be obliged, as a Christian, to love Israel and pray for peace for Jerusalem.
“I cannot do anything, as a Christian, other than love and pray for Israel because I know hatred for Israel by me, and for my nation, can only attract unprecedented curses,” he said.
His comments sparked controversy and led to organisations, including #Africa4Palestine, filing complaints with the JCC. The JCC found that his comments violated the code of conduct and that he should retract them.
Mogoeng filed an appeal in April. He is currently on long leave and will have to deal with this case while on sabbatical.
#Africa4Palestine said its main arguments in the appeal against Mogoeng was that he was using “straw-man arguments”.