Johannesburg – The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) on Thursday said it “welcomes” the Judicial Conduct Committee’s (JCC) finding against Judge Siraj Desai.
The SAZF had lodged a complaint against Judge Desai for his support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
BDS is a Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.
Earlier on Thursday, the JCC found that “Judge Desai conducted himself in a manner unbecoming of a Judge and has been given a written warning in terms of section 17(8)(c) of the JSC Act.”
The JCC found that Judge Siraj Desai was a signatory to a BDS Coalition statement and that he became involved in political controversy as a result.
Commenting on the ruling, the SAZF said: “We are satisfied with the JCC’s ruling that Judge Desai wrongfully involved himself in political controversy by endorsing the anti-Israel and antisemitic BDS movement”.
The SAZF said it welcomes the JCC remedial action in the form of a warning to Judge Desai not to participate in or become involved in any political controversy or activity in the future, unless necessary for judicial duties.
“We note that Judge Desai has flagrantly continued his political activities even while his conduct was under review, by participating in BDS marches, protests, and events as recently as April 2023, and we hope he will take careful notice of the JCC’s ruling going forward,” the SAZF said.
The SAZF complaint was dealt with in terms of section 17(4)(a) of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Act, 9 of 1994.