Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says his statements were quoted out of context and that is the reason he has been vilified (“Public has a right to know judges’ strong views, says Mogoeng”, July 29).

Yet in his attempt to provide the missing context he descends into silliness, saying he loves everyone — Jews, Christians and Palestinians. Wonderful, but nowhere in his rambling defence does he state clearly that the Palestinians are the oppressed and the Israelis the oppressors. It’s akin to an observer of apartheid SA saying they love the Afrikaners and black people. So what? 

Then Mogoeng ventured into the issue of forgiveness. A man who regularly beats his wife can only be considered for forgiveness when he finally decides to stop. Again, in the case of SA only when the apartheid government decided to end its policy of discrimination did the question of forgiveness arise, and so we had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. So the chief justice again presents a context that is plainly inappropriate.

Perhaps his most ridiculous contention is that SA can play a useful role as a mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians if we do not criticise either side and are therefore be regarded as an honest, unbiased broker; and given our success in reaching a negotiated settlement that ended apartheid, we thus have special skills to end this long-standing problem.

Mogoeng is either blissfully ignorant or wilfully blind to the developments over the past 27 years since the Israelis and Palestinians signed the Oslo Accord. Israel rejects or ignores all criticism from any quarter, and continues with its brutal oppression. So the chief justice’s suggestion that SA will be able to call on Israel to end its ethnic cleansing project is laughable.

Abie Dawjee
Isipingo Hills

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