Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng stated unequivocally yesterday that he will not retract or apologise for remarks that he made about Israel during a webinar on June 23.
Mogoeng, who has been facing bitter attacks from the ANC and other political and activist groups, and demands that he withdraw his comments in which he lamented the South African government’s one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was speaking at the conclusion of a three-hour, virtual, Africa-wide prayer meeting in support of his right to speak his mind as a Christian.
After emphasising the biblical basis of his remarks and his message of love for all people during the recent webinar hosted by The Jerusalem Post newspaper, he said: “Even if 50 million people can march every day for the next 10 years, for me to retract and apologise for what I said — I will not do it.”
Yesterday’s prayer meeting was organised by Healing The Nation Of Africa Campaign, which Mogoeng agreed to lead in order to bring the message of hope, healing and restoration at a time of despair due to lockdown to mark an end to their 3days Esther Fast. This was done because they felt that the attack on Mogoeng was aimed not only at silencing him but the Church and anyone who prays for the peace of Jerusalem.
Mogoeng told yesterday’s prayer meeting that he faced similar attacks because of his Christian faith in 2009 when prominent people in SA and overseas opposed his nomination as a Constitutional Court judge, and in 2011 when his nomination as Chief Justice was opposed. Soon after his appointment as Chief Justice, lies were published in media claiming he had forced fellow judges to attend a Christian leadership conference.
“So it [attacks on him] has always been about my love for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and my devotion to Christ,” he said.
Summarising what he said in the webinar, in which he was interviewed with SA chief rabbi Warren Goldstein, on the topic of overcoming racism, he said that based on Mat 5:44, Psalm 122:6 and Genesis 12:1-3, he explained that he cannot hate anybody but can only love.
He said he told the Jerusalem Post: ” I can only love. I love Israel. I love the Jews. I love Palestine. I love the Palestinians. I love everybody. I don’t hate anybody. And I said I am even commanded by Psalm 122 verse 6 to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
‘So people — even politicians — want to tell me what to pray for. How can you condemn prayer? I said I must pray, meaning I must ask God. How can you condemn me for asking God for peace?”
Mogoeng declared to yesterday’s gathering: “I will not reject my God. I will not apologise for believing in my God. I will not apologise for being a Christian. I will not apologise for prayer. I will not apologise for holding on to the Word of God. I will never! Even if 50 million people can march every day for the next 10 years, for me to retract and apologise for what I said — I will not do it.
“I will never say I hate anybody or any nation. I will never. I love everybody. I love Israel. I love the Jews. I love the Palestinians. I love everybody — every nation, every people. I love.
“I said in that webinar those that those that are plotting against me right now, even to kill me; those who will plot to destroy and kill me even in 10 years to come — they are already forgiven. I meant it. Everybody who is insulting me. Everybody who is lying about me — whether Christian or not Christian — I love you and I forgive you. May God have mercy on you. May God reveal the truth to you, in the name of Jesus.
“There will, therefore, be not retraction. There is nothing to retract. There will be no apology — not even this political apology that ‘in case I have offended anybody without meaning to offend them, for that reason I …’. I will not apologise for anything. There is nothing to apologise for. There is nothing to retract. I can’t apologise for loving. I cannot apologise for not harbouring hatred and bitterness. I will not.
“If I perish, I perish. Like Esther said: ‘If I perish, I perish.’
“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will sustain me. He has released at least five prophecies since the 23rd, saying that the battle is won and that He will personally fight it.”
Listen to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s message at yesterday’s prayer meeting: