STATEMENT South Africa’s Chief Justice Moegong leaves today, in disgrace

PRESS STATEMENT: South Africa’s Chief Justice Moegong leaves today, in disgrace

 

11 October 2021

Today Chief Justice Moegeng Moegeng leaves his office in a shadow of controversy, with much of the country breathing a sigh of relief.

Sadly, he completed his term, with South Africa’s Judicial Services Commission (JSC) failing to resolve his appeal against its judgement which found him guilty of violating the JSC’s code. The JSC, by its delays, have essentially allowed the Chief Justice to undermine its own ruling by not settling the matter before the Chief Justice’s term came to an end. This failure of the JSC to act timeously has weakened the public confidence in the authority of the JSC, which, some suggest, are intimidated by Mogoeng.

Last month, on the 3rd of September 2020, the human rights organisation #Africa4Palestine wrote to the JSC to register our concern regarding this protracted delay in the JSC finalising the outcome of the appeal by South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng over his pro – Israel remarks (click here).

In our letter we urgently requested the timeframe for the finalisation of the appeals process. We maintained that the pro Israel utterances by the Chief Justice brought the office of the Chief Justice into disrepute and was in violation of the JSC Code of Judicial Conduct.

The JSC have failed to show their authority. An apology or action taken against a former Chief Justice will only prove that while in his position he was able to ignore and undermine the JSC.

Rather than his legal acumen, Chief Justice Moegeng will sadly be remembered, for his outrageous remarks on Israel, vaccines and other controversial issues which tarnished his reputation.

Last year in June 2020, Chief Justice Mogoeng entered into controversy unbecoming of his office and in violation of the JSC’s Code of Judicial Conduct, by making anti-Palestine and pro Apartheid Israel comments. Following his pro-Israel comments #Africa4Palestine laid a complaint with the JSC (click here).

Subsequently, this year, in March 2021, the JSC found in favour of #Africa4Palestine and other complainants that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was indeed in breach of the JSC’s Code of Judicial Conduct and provided the Chief Justice 10 days to apologise (click here).

However, the Chief Justice chose to appeal the JSC decision and made a submission on 02 April 2021 with the JSC. We are awaiting almost half a year now for the JSC’s outcome which we feel is worrisome.

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