Update: Mounting calls for Judge Jansen to be removed from the Bar
The judge, in Facebook messages with a social justice activist, claimed 'rape is part of black culture'.
JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance(DA) has reported a racist comment about rape made by Pretoria High Court Judge Mabel Jansen to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
Snippets of private Facebook conversation between social justice activist Gillian Schutte and Jansen last year went viral on social media, in which the judge claimed "rape is part of black culture".
The party says the JSC's judicial conduct committee must review Jansen's comment and establish whether she contravened her judicial oath.
"We take any racist issues very seriously, on the face of it, it appears to be racist but we are not aware of the context and that is why we've sent it to the JSC - so the correct body can investigate the context and decide whether action needs to be taken or not."
The Business Day newspaper spoke to Jansen who says instead of labelling her a racist, the country should address what she calls the real issue of protecting vulnerable women and children.
At the same time, the African National Congress (ANC) says her conduct should be addressed quickly as it gives a negative impression of the judiciary.
Jansen took to twitter to explain that comments were taken out of context.
What I stated confidentially to somebody in a position to help has been taken completely out of context and referred to specific court cases
- Mabel Jansen (@mabel_jansen) May 8, 2016
The ANC's Zizi Kodwa says Jansen's comments disprove the belief that judges are completely free from bias.
"We rubbish the notion that judges are above reproach, judges are supernatural beings, they are not influenced and they don't have personal views. But this also reveals that there are issues of stereotypes even within the bench."
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is currently in deliberations to decide whether or not to lay a formal complaint.
On social media, members of the public are continuing to express their anger and frustration, also calling for action to be taken.
- Ulrich J van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) May 9, 2016
- I hear the JSC is investigating #MabelJansen. Good.She can explain the "context" of her racist comments there. & then step down. Hamba!
- Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) May 9, 2016
Voices: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Hashtag: #MabelJansen Must Go!
Voices: She deserves a hearing...Give her a chance to explain...
- Justice Malala (@justicemalala) May 9, 2016
- The Daily VOX (@thedailyvox) May 9, 2016
Racists like #MabelJansen has no business enjoying our national attention. Racism is just a tool used by demagogues to score cheap points.
- IG: AdvBarryRoux (@Barry_Roux) May 9, 2016