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S.Africa’s top judge ordered to apologise for pro-Israeli remarks

South Africa’s chief justice was Thursday ordered to apologise and retract comments he made last year seen as pledging support for Israel in a country that is pro-Palestine.

Mogoeng Mogoeng, who is a devout Christian sparked an outcry in June last year declaring his love and prayers for Israel.

He said South Africa was depriving itself “a wonderful opportunity of being a game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian situation,”

South African openly supports the Palestinian cause and in 2019 it downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv.

The country’s Judiciary Conduct Committee which probed the judge’s comments following a complaint, found the remarks “offending” and “particularly aggravating”.

“It is important that… those utterances must be unreservedly retracted and withdrawn to return and maintain the public image of the judiciary to its rightful place,” the committee said in its ruling.

The committee drafted the apology they want him to tender within 10 days.

The controversial judge in December came under heavy criticism when he publicly prayed against “satanic” Covid-19 vaccines, asking God that they be “destroyed by fire”.

A local pro-Palestinian rights group #Africa4Palestine presented a formal complaint over his pro-Israel speech during a webinar co-organised by the Jerusalem Post and South Africa’s chief rabbi, Warren Goldstein.