Mogoeng Mogoeng, the chief justice of South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, said he is obligated to pray for Jerusalem and Israel because of his Christian faith, during a webinar meeting with South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, according to United with Israel.
During the June 30 event, the justice said, “I’m 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 I Christian, do anything other than love and pray for Israel,” he said, “because I know hatred for Israel by me and for my nation, can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation.”
Africa4Palestine, the South African division of the BDS movement, or “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” filed a complaint against South Africa’s Judicial Service Commission, accusing the justice of breaching the code of conduct for judges, United with Israel reported.
The BDS movement is a group that “works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law,” according to the BDS website.
Several world leaders have condemned the BDS movement, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well as several former prime ministers, according to NGO Monitor.
Justice Mogoeng responded to Africa4Palestine’s complaint, saying, “Somehow, Africa4Palestine has, in my view, found a way to build a case by taking these remarks completely out of their obvious context to achieve its goal of making an example of me, to any who would ever dare to knowingly or unknowingly differ with them.”
He also commented that South African judges should not be “censored, gagged or muzzled,” United with Israel reported.
The Jerusalem Post reported on July 6 that Mogoeng, facing criticism largely from the pro-communist African National Congress (ANC), refused to apologize for his remarks.
“There will, therefore, be no retraction,” Mogoeng said in a statement. “There is nothing to retract. There will be no apology -- not even this political apology that ‘in case I have offended anybody without meaning to offend them, for that reason.’ I will not apologize for anything. There is nothing to apologize for. There is nothing to retract. I can’t apologize for loving. I cannot apologize for not harboring hatred and bitterness. I will not.”
He added that he is guided by his religious beliefs. “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will sustain me.”