Chief Justice of South Africa Mogoeng Mogoeng, who has been facing criticism in South Africa for attacking the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party's alleged one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, responded to the attacks by saying that he will not retract his statements, according to report Saturday by Gateway News, a South African Christian news site.
The Chief Justice rejected the notion of a retraction during a prayer meeting was organized by Healing The Nation Of Africa Campaign, which Mogoeng agreed to lead.
Mogoeng's comments were made during a live webinar on Tuesday, where lamented his country’s adoption of a lopsided attitude toward the Israel-Palestinian conflict and said that it would have greater influence if it displayed a more balanced approach.
He said that his nation’s history of forgiveness and understanding should have informed its approach to peace making, adding that as a practicing Christian he believed that those who curse Israel will themselves be cursed.
Mogoeng took pains to emphasize that the policy of the South African government was binding upon himself and that he was not seeking to reject it.
But, he said, as a citizen he was entitled to criticize laws and policies and suggest changes. South Africa Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein also participated in the Post’s webinar.
“As a citizen of our great country, we are denying ourselves a wonderful opportunity of being a game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian situation,” said Mogoeng during webinar.
“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," Mogoeng added.
Responding to the criticism, Mogoeng said that “Even if 50 million people can march every day for the next 10 years, for me to retract and apologize for what I said — I will not do it.”
“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 will not apologize for anything. There is nothing to apologize for. There is nothing to retract. I can’t apologize for loving. I cannot apologize for not harboring hatred and bitterness. I will not," Mogoeng added in his statement.
Reaffirming his religious convictions as guiding his views, Mogoeng said “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.”