Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been ordered by the Judicial Conduct Committee to retract and apologise for pro-Israel utterances he made last year.
In June last year, Mogoeng said he had an obligation, as a Christian, to love and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
He made the comments during a webinar hosted by The Jerusalem Post.
“It is as binding on me as any other law would bind on me, so whatever I have to say should not be misunderstood as an attempt to say the policy direction taken by my country in terms of their constitutional responsibilities is not binding on me.
“But, just as a citizen, any citizen is entitled to [criticise] the Constitution of South Africa, [and] is entitled to criticise the laws and the policies of South Africa or even suggest that changes are necessary – and that’s where I come from,” he said during the webinar.
Judge Phineas Mojapelo, in his ruling on Friday, directed the chief justice to apologise as follows: “I, Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, hereby apologise unconditionally for becoming involved in political controversy through my utterances in the online seminar [webinar] hosted by The Jerusalem Post on 23 June 2020, in which I participated.”
— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) March 4, 2021
“All over SA we are united in our support for our Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng. We applaud his convictions to speak out as a Christian,” Pastor Barry Isaacs said.
“We will not tolerate in anyway the undermining of our democracy by those with narrow agendas and we will not have our connection to Israel in any way undermined,” he said.