The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) on Tuesday said it would investigate a complaint laid against Judge Mabel Jansen over her comments about black people and rape posted on Facebook.
A complaint was received from a Johannesburg advocate, Vuyani Ngalwana, SC, said JSC spokesperson, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza.
“The Secretariat of the JSC has confirmed that a complaint has now been lodged by Adv Vuyani Ngalwana SC in his capacity as the chairperson of the Advocates for Transformation (Johannesburg) and also in his personal capacity with the JSC regarding the social media posts attributed to Judge Jansen. The JSC urges the public to allow that process to run its course and remain confident that the JSC shall deal with the matter in a just and proper manner,” Ntsebeza said.
A proposal for Jansen to go on special leave has been forwarded to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha for consideration, following a consultation with her.
“All Judges are subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct, which serves as the prevailing standard for judicial conduct which Judges must adhere to,” said Ntsebeza.
Jansen’s remarks, part of a conversation posted on Facebook a year ago, sparked an outcry this week among social media users and political parties. Jansen stated in the conversation that rape was part of black people’s culture,and that gang raping of a baby, daughter and a mother was “a pleasurable pastime”. Jansen further said that she had dozens of cases before her to prove it.
The North Gauteng High Court judge was labeled a racist, with calls for her to be fired as a judge.
She reportedly defended her statements and said they were taken out of context.
On Monday, the Democratic Alliance said it would refer Jansen’s remarks to the JSC. A petition was also circulated online for submission to the Human Rights Commission of SA (SAHRC). The ANC called for Jansen to be banned from all South African courts.
Jansen’s remarks came a almost a week after Cape Town’s Matthew Theunissen posted racist comments on Facebook about Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and the government, and called them k*ffirs. Theunissen was reacting to a decision by Mbalula to ban rugby, cricket, netball and athletics from hosting international sporting events in the country due until the met transformation targets. – ANA (Edited by Michelle Solomon)