BDS Coalition welcomes rejection of Mogoeng appeal

This decision demonstrates that not even the Chief Justice is above the law, says organisation

BDS Coalition welcomes rejection of Mogoeng appeal

20 January 2022

The South African BDS Coalition welcomes the South African Judicial Conduct Committee’s decision to reject the appeal made by former Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, and to determine that he must apologise to the SA BDS Coalition and others for his pro-Israeli comments.

The former Chief Justice has been given 10 days to issue an apology to the Office of the Chief Justice and publicly in the media. Paragraph 95 of the JSC JCC decision states:

"To sum up, the appeal [by Chief Justice Mogoeng] against the decision upholding the complainants’ complaints based on Articles 12(1)(b) and 14(2)(a) of the Code, is dismissed. The Chief Justice was correctly found to have breached these Articles."

Clause (27) of the JCC Appeal Committee Decision states that the SA BDS Coalition… “contends that… firstly, that his statements were completely unrelated to discharging his judicial office nor were they related to any legal argument or the administration of justice; and secondly, that he denounced government policy on Palestine on the eve of South Africa raising a debate in the United Nations Security Council in support of the human rights of the Palestinian people and condemning the planned illegal Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory.

It argued that by expressing explicit support for Israel at this time in a manner that was contrary to a number of United Nations Resolutions, international law, South African foreign policy and the spirit of the South African Constitution his statements were highly controversial.”

This decision demonstrates that not even the Chief Justice is above the law and that ordinary South Africans can hold those in power and supporters of apartheid Israel to account. It is a victory for the Palestinian solidarity movement at a time when apartheid Israel is intensifying its outrageous atrocities, implementing forced removals and ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrarh, Silwan and the Naqab.

Roshan Dadoo

Judy Favish

Naazim Adams

Salim Vally

Statement issued by the South African BDS Coalition, 20 January 2022