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The Judicial Conduct Committee has finalised its investigation into allegations of “misconduct” against Judge Siraj Desai, lodged in 2021 by a South African-based Israeli lobby group, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF).

Justice JA Dambuza dismissed all but one of the complaints. This is a serious blow to the SAZF’s   vindictive campaign against Judge Desai in their attempts to protect and conceal human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity by Israel against Palestinians, which is courageously exposed by the Judge. The SAZF shameful campaign has all the hallmarks of a MOSSAD operation, giving greater and continued credence to the Al Jazeera report of Israeli lobby groups ‘. who assist in intelligence activities” where leaked cables gave insight into activities of Israel intelligence agents in South Africa.

Professor Arkin, assisted by a faceless legal gang operating in Israel and South Africa, was   the deponent of the complaint on behalf of the SAZF.  He came in for rough ride, in a scathing rebuke by Judge Dambuza which left his motivations, character and integrity as a complainant in tatters. Arkin is a colonial settler in Israel, and resides on Palestinian land, which Haganah, a Zionist terrorist organisation ethnically cleansed of Palestinians in 1948 during the Nakba (catastrophe).  The settlers are notorious for their pogroms against Palestinians and calls of ‘death to the Arabs”.  Judge Dambuza says in one part of her report that ‘the laying the complaint against the judge must be condemned’  that she could not find a “full and honest explanation” for the delay of the complaint by Arkin, and made reference to the flippancy of Arkin’s comment, adding that allegations by Arkin were “extracted from unconfirmed newspaper reports and internet sites’, that in most instances, Arkin failed to provide proper evidence, and  allegations of misconduct by the Israeli settler are “defective  grossly inadequate’.

By all accounts it was a humiliating experience for the SAZF and Arkin in particular, who brazenly support an international criminal Zionist syndicate in the form of Apartheid Israel engaged in land thefts, recruitment of mercenaries from South Africa to the Israeli Occupation for purposes of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The SAZF expected Judge Desai to be severely reprimanded and punished for his unapologetic stance on Palestine, as a warning to other human rights advocates to silence them. Human Rights groups in South Africa, as elsewhere, have been under a sustained unlawful campaign of bare faced defamatory lies, slanders, insults, and slurs as well as Islamophobic and antisemitic attacks on sections of our membership namely Muslim and Jewish members because they point out racist practices of Israel against Palestinians. The ongoing attacks on efforts to promote human rights is being led by Israeli lobbyist in South Africa, which seek to limit campaigns against racism and bigotry by the Israeli regime with the intention to shield Israel’s practice of apartheid against Palestinians which is a crime war crime.

Judge Dambuza’s report is a recordal of a distinguished history of Judge Desai, holding perpetrators of human rights violations accountable especially in this instance, in the face of Zionist surveillance, and harassment to camouflage Israeli apartheid. His position is clear. That the SAZF’s nostalgia for a return to South African apartheid and its support for Israeli apartheid cannot be allowed to flourish in our country, in Palestine or anywhere else.

Judge Desai is implacably opposed to the human rights abuses everywhere. Given our own history, South Africans of all shades have the political, ethical, and moral obligations to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid.  South Africa also has legal obligations under, amongst other legal instruments, the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002 (Act 27 of 2002). This law incorporates the core crimes under international criminal law, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression into our domestic law. It is well-documented by Palestinians, human rights organisations, scholars, and activists that the systematic brutalisation of the Palestinian people by Israel contravenes the human rights of the Palestinians and the core international crimes incorporated into South African law.

The decision made by Judge Dambuza, in terms of Section 17 of the Judicial Service Commission Act, runs into 17 pages. It sets out the series of complaints based on a number of events citing Judge Desai’s alleged “misconduct” during the period 2009 to 2020.

Judge Dambuza deals with the merits of each of the eight complaints starting with the first one headed “The Gaza March and BDS Campaign’ which she found that the alleged violation took place 12 years prior to the lodging of the complaint.

The second complaint titled a “Cape Town Public Dinner – March 2011” was found to rely on a newspaper report which cites Judge Desai at a public event with former Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils, accusing Judge Desai of saying what everyone knows, that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is one of the longest continuing breaches of human rights in the world. Disingenuously omitted from the complaint by the SAZF, is part that reveals that Judge Desai and Ronnie Kasrils came out in support of a Holocaust survivors’ South African campaign for a boycott of Israel.

Another complaint dismissed by Judge Dambuza, relates to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine held in Cape Town during November 2011. The allegation is that by chairing it, Judge Desai facilitated the “hearings of the Tribunal” that concluded Israel should be boycotted and turned into an international pariah.

The false allegation that Judges Desai flouted Judicial Codes by promoting Hamas and a bizarre fabrication of an interview with an Iranian Channel was given short thrift by Judge Dambuza and dismissed.

In this vein Judge Dambuza deals with a host of complaints she did not find to have any merit.

The Judicial Conduct Committee was clearly unimpressed with the spurious, and fabricated complaints presented by the SAZF, and as a sop offered the pro-Israel group a bone to chew at in one of the 8 complaints made. It relates to an incident where Judge Desai is said to have appended his signature. This far-reaching decision by Judge Dambuza, cautions Judge Desai, without any rhyme or reason, to avoid political controversy. This muddled decision by Judge Dambuza comes across as vacuous and is phrased in manner which makes it incapable of implementation by any judge as it places several other judges at risk in their support for human rights and fidelity to the constitution. This lapse on the part of Judge Dambuza, issuing a report almost two years after the fabricated SAZF complaints were lodged, is regrettably not the only problem with the learned judges report, which is undated, and carelessly written in several parts with several grammatical and factual errors. The Russell Tribunal, for instance was on Palestine NOT Iran as is written in the report. Ronnie Kasrils is not “late,” and rumours of his death are greatly exaggerated. We all know that the death of anti-apartheid stalwarts like Ronnie Kasrils and the elimination of Judge Desai from holding Israel accountable for its crimes is a wish that is father to the thought among Zionists. The SAZF pickled and unreconstructed collaborators and peddlers of apartheid in South Africa then and Palestine now must be held accountability and placed in the dock, not advocates for human rights. Moreso as the death and carnage against Palestinians at the hands of Zionists are escalating daily as witnessed recently with the cruel murder of the infant Mohamed Tamimi by the Occupation Forces. Arrest warrants should be issued to those responsible for this without delay. The likes of the complainants should be dealt with in the same manner as the leadership in the words of the Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of DIRCO where she called arrest and prosecution of Israeli Ministers for their war crimes.

The South African state, through its prosecution and judicial systems needs to act against individuals and institutions that violate the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) and the International Criminal Court Act (ICCA) in addition the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act (RFMAA). Over the past two decades more than 100 Zionist-supporting South Africans have volunteered their services in the Israeli Occupation Forces. It appears that they have done so irregularly and surreptitiously, aided, and abetted by a criminal Zionist network operating in South Africa for which they need to be brought to book.

Issued by:

Usuf Chikte



Judge Siraj Desai