Mogoeng's appeal dismissed, must still apologise for Israel comments

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Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Simon Sonnekus

The Judicial Conduct Appeals Committee has dismissed former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's appeal against the Judicial Conduct Committee's (JCC) findings that he had involved himself in political controversy over South Africa's policy on Israel.

In a short statement on Thursday, the appeals committee said it confirmed the Judicial Conduct Committee's findings that Mogoeng breached the Judicial Code of Conduct when he involved himself in political controversy. 

In a majority decision by Judges Dumisani Zondi and Nambitha Dambuza, the appeals committee further found that Mogoeng breached the code when he involved himself “in extra-judicial activities which are incompatible with the confidence in and the impartiality of Judges.”

READ | Ramaphosa shortlists four candidates for chief justice

The committee ordered that Mogoeng should issue an unconditional apology within 10 days.

News24 previously reported that Mogoeng participated in a webinar hosted by Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post, under the theme "Two Chiefs, One Mission: Confronting Apartheid of the Heart".

These comments led to a complaint against Mogoeng that was probed by the JCC. 

Mogoeng has remained adamant that he will not apologise.

READ | Mogoeng appeals against 'flawed' Israel comments ruling

In his appeal, Mogoeng argued that he had the constitutional rights of freedom of religion and freedom of expression.He added at the time that the Constitution had supremacy over the code.

The third member of the appeals committee,  Judge Margaret Victor, penned a minority decision in which she would have upheld Mogoeng's appeal in its entirety, setting aside the findings of the JCC and its remedial action.


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