Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has slammed racism and labeled it a major setback to the country’s development.

Mogoeng was giving his keynote address at the opening of the conference of the South African Union for Progressive Judaism at the Temple Israel Heritage Centre in Hillbrow‚ Johannesburg‚ on Thursday night.

He spoke largely of racism‚ corruption‚ the land question, and the period of despair in which South Africans find themselves. "We need to end this embarrassment. We know there is nothing behind skin colour. Why are we allowing to be trapped by something so useless? We know that the foundation of the injustices of the past is racism."

While reflecting on the vision of former president Nelson Mandela for a free country that belongs to all who live in it‚ Mogoeng urged the audience to individually try and find ways to combat racism, because that way South Africans would be able to focus on more pressing societal issues.

Though the country was hit by a ratings downgrade‚ he said that shouldn’t be a reason for civilians to lose all hope. "Be able to locate hope, even when everyone else is giving up ... You have racism‚ junk status and now it looks like a hopeless situation."

He cautioned against the country taking the issue of land redistribution for granted. "Don’t mislead investors. Don’t tell them the land issue is not a problem. It is a problem. Whoever comes into the country must come with their eyes open."