Judge Richard Goldstone
Richard Goldstone, the United Nations investigator whose controversial report recently accused Israel of war crimes, once sentenced a 13-year-old boy to prison for protesting South African apartheid.
The case was one of several of Goldstone’s questionable and highly criticized rulings during some of apartheid South Africa’s most violent years.
Goldstone served as a judge on South Africa’s Transvaal Supreme Court from 1980 until he was appointed judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in 1989 – all during South Africa’s apartheid regime.
In a blog piece at the Huffington Post, researcher Ashley Rindsberg references a case in which Goldstone ruled against the 1986 appeal of a 13-year-old boy who had been sentenced to jail for disrupting school as a protest against apartheid and increasingly draconian “emergency laws” used to squelch opposition to the government.
The New York Times reported Goldstone provided no immediate comment on his decision to uphold the sentence of the lower court.
Rindsberg also pointed out that Goldstone ruled against two appellants who had been convicted for possession of a cassette tape that contained a recording of an interview with Oliver Tambo, who, along with Nelson Mandela, was a founding member of the African National Congress’ Youth League. The congress has been South Africa’s ruling party since the establishment of nonracial democracy in 1994.
Goldstone ruled that by possessing the tape, the two young men had violated South Africa’s Internal Security Act No. 74 of 1982 – a piece of legislation that some human-rights scholars have called a crucial weapon in the regime’s “arsenal of terrorism legislation.”
Goldstone commented in that case that Tambo’s opening words on the recording indicated “beyond a reasonable doubt that the cassette in question was published or disseminated under the direction or guidance or on behalf of the African National Congress.”
According to Goldstone’s Supreme Court ruling on the case, the tapes also included audio of Tambo encouraging the people of South Africa to resist the apartheid regime, as well as the leader’s call to “let us change our own country into the kind of society we want it to be.”
Rindsberg noted Goldstone’s ruling against the 13-year-old boy transpired amidst a wave of national protests and school disruptions by South Africa’s black youth against apartheid. Authorities at the time responded with mass detention of almost 2,000 children who participated in the protests or who were suspected of doing so.
Goldstone was slammed by South African human-rights organizations for his 1986 ruling against the boy. He later told the New York Times that South Africa’s emergency laws left him “no way out.”
Goldstone recently penned a U.N. report that claimed both Hamas and Israel were guilty of war crimes during the Jewish state’s defensive war in Gaza last December and January.
Goldstone’s report claimed Israel deliberately targeted civilians during the Gaza conflict, which started after Hamas refused to extend a cease-fire. The terrorist group instead launched a rocket offensive against Israeli population centers.
The U.N. report equated Israel, which worked to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, to Hamas, which utilized civilians as human shields and fired rockets at Jewish cities from Palestinian hospitals and apartment buildings.
During the Gaza war, Israel sent hundreds of thousands of text messages and placed tens of thousands of calls warning local Palestinians of incoming attacks against Hamas’ military infrastructure in Gaza.
As WND previously reported, Goldstone’s investigation may have relied on false witnesses and Palestinian misinformation.