- Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said he will not apologise for his comments over Israe
- The Chief Justice has been asked to withdraw his statement by many individuals and organisations, including the governing party
- Mogoeng said he loves both Israel and Palestine
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Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is sticking to his guns, saying he will neither retract nor apologise for comments he made about his love for Israel during a webinar The Jerusalem Post hosted over a week ago.
Mogoeng has been criticised by several organisations and high-ranking officials, including International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, over comments he made on Israel.
The Chief Justice was speaking during a prayer service which was posted on the Christian News Website, Gateway News.
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Last week Mogoeng took part in the virtual discussion with South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and the publication’s editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz, discussing global racial tensions.
The Chief Justice said:
"I think as a citizen of this country, we are denying ourselves a wonderful opportunity of being game-changers in the Israeli-Palestinian situation. We know what it means to be at loggerheads, to be a nation at war with itself."
Since then, Mogoeng has received a lot of criticism and calls for him to retract his words.
News24 reported that speaking at a virtual Africa prayer meeting, Mogoeng said:
"Even if 50 million people can march every day for the next 10 years for me to retract or 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 Palestinians."
Briefly.co.za reported that Chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and the grandson of Nelson Mandela, Mandla Mandela called for Mogoeng to retract his words or resign.
Mogoeng said he loved Israel and the Palestinian people and harboured no hate for anyone and would not be apologising for his comments, reported IOL.
In closing his prayer, Mogoeng said he was praying to God to defeat Covid-19 and that he was praying for South Africa, Africa, Jerusalem, its people and against the virus.
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