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#PoeticLicence: Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng carries his faith around like a ’paint brush’

Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Published Feb 6, 2022

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Johannesburg - The base commonality between politics and religion is division. Though the latter can lead you closer to the divine, even Individually these philosophies divide.

I suppose this is why Malcolm X, in his “Ballot or the Bullet speech“, said his religion was his personal business. It governed his personal life, his personal morals.

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His religious philosophy was personal between him and the God in whom he believed.

He believed that we should keep our religion at home, keep it between ourselves and our God.

Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng believes the opposite. He carries his faith like a poem called “Paint Brush” by Bettie B. Youngs. The poem opens up with these words; “I keep my paint brush with me wherever I may go, in case I need to cover up, so the real me doesn't show”.

In 2020 Mogoeng criticised South Africa’s foreign policy on Israel’s occupation of Palestine by using Bible verses to defend Israel and express love for it during a Jerusalem Post webinar. He had involved himself in political controversy over South Africa's policy on Israel and violating the judicial code.

Two years later he was forced by the law to apologise for his pro-Israel comments.

Though disingenuous, his obligatory apology was a victory over ego.

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His obligatory apology was a nod to the newly released report by human rights group Amnesty International on Israel’s apartheid regime, and its racist policies and practices against the Palestinians.

His obligatory apology was a victory for the rule of law. A step forward against apartheid Israel, a state armed to the teeth, and eager to take a bite off of the little guy.

A little guy who is just bones. The stranglehold of Israel's apartheid against Palestinians spreads to their refugees and their descendants outside the territory. It spreads across Israel, and in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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Stripping foundations underneath homes in Sheikh Jarrah. On top of roofs, fathers threaten to burn themselves alive instead of their homes crumbling under the wrath of bulldozers.

His obligatory apology was a nod to a crippling siege, systemic violence, hunger, hunger strikes and administrative detention.

But that was not the first time Mogoeng’s faith had caused public ire, or needing a reminder to keep his paint brush at home. He keeps it with him wherever he may go.

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In December, also in 2020, he went on to pray away “any Covid-19 vaccine that was meant to infuse 666 in people… and meant to corrupt their DNA”.

His faith blinded him to undermine medical science and South Africa’s position on the distribution of vaccines.

Amnesty International is the third major human rights group to label Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. Many human rights groups have been singing the same song.

The report states that Israel ultimately seeks to establish and maintain Jewish dominance wherever they exercise effective control.

But Israel says this is absurd.

The Saturday Star

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