Justice South African Style

The South African BDS coalition, which includes Africa4Paliastineone recently (24 Jan) issued a statement welcoming the SA Judicial Conduct Committee’s (JCC) decision to reject Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s appeal against a ruling that he must apologise for his pro-Israeli comments and for “becoming involved in political controversy” through statements he made during an online webinar in June 2020 and later at a prayer meeting.

The JCC is part of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) which is charged for dealing with complaints against the judiciary.

Judge Phineas Mojapelo in his ruling, referred to the webinar which he termed “ Clearly political territory” and that the Chief Justice made comments on “matters concerning diplomatic relationship between South Africa and Israel.

These were the “politically” offensive remarks referred to:

 in Psalms 122 verse 6 which says: ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee’. And see, also Genesis 12 verses 1 to 3 says to me as a Christian, if I curse Abraham and Israel, God, 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. And 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 will, can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation.

South Africa, under its progressive constitution and bill of rights protects and encourages freedom of religion, speech and belief, regardless of ones station in life, even the judiciary.

Juxtaposed to the above case and ruling by the JCC, The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) accused the Legal Services Ombud, Mr Justice Siraj Desai of actions and conduct “entirely unbecoming of a judicial officer”, claiming he had for many years “plainly breached” the Code of Judicial Conduct. The accusation went further by claiming that Desai had been “involved in political controversy, misused the ‘prestige of his Judicial Office to advance his personal political interests’, failed to recuse himself in a case in which he was ‘obviously conflicted’, and involved himself in activities that ‘used the position of his Judicial Office to promote a partisan political cause’”.

Amongst a list of complaints by the SAZF Desai had made “inappropriate comments” in an interview on an Iranian YouTube channel in which he compared the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini to President Nelson Mandela, describing both as “towering figures”. Once referred the U.S. as “The Great Satan”

During a Palestine Solidarity Alliance  protest in Cape Town described as “The Gaza Freedom March” in 2009 Desai formed part of the delegation of pro-Palestinian activists calling for a boycott of Israel, contributing to the drafting of that declaration.

Desai in his welcome address to a Hamas delegations visit to South Africa in 2018 said that “We hope to make an intellectual contribution to the resolution of the Palestinian issue, but we take our leadership from you, you are the leadership on the ground.”

Hamas has made no secret of its charter of hostility against the Jewish people and working towards the destruction of Israel. A blatant abuse of his office, contrary to the judicial code by promoting a terrorist

What a strange hypocritical and convoluted world we live in, where double standards being commonplace and riding roughshod over ethical and legal codes but freedom of speech and religion is censored by trying to force public humiliation.

About the Author
Allan is a member of the South African (SA) Israel Media Team - lobby group that challenges negative reporting about Israel. The SA mainstream press is amongst the most hostile and biased press concerning Israel and supports BDS as is the ANC government of that country. He has been a contributor to combatting the false and sometime fabricated reporting on Israel and has had many letters to the editors published.