Kathrada Foundation deems Jansen’s comments as 'unacceptable'

The foundation says Mabel Jansen’s views may have impacted on cases of black offenders she presided over.

FILE: High court judge Mabel Jansen. Picture: LinkedIn.

JOHANNESBURG - As political parties and human rights activists call on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to investigate a high court judge following her racist remarks, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says Mabel Jansen's views may have had an impact in the cases of black offenders which she presided over.

Jansen has been involved in a social media brawl over comments she made on Facebook last year where she claimed rape is part of black culture.

She has since taken to Twitter to say her comments were taken out of context.

The foundation's Neeshan Balton said, "[it is] completely unacceptable at this point in time in our country for somebody who holds that office and who in her interviews in the JSC presented herself as a very progressive person."

POLITICAL PARTIES REACT

The African National Congress (ANC) says her conduct should be addressed quickly as it gives a negative impression of the judiciary.

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 Democratic Alliance(DA) has reported Jansen's comments to the JSC.

The party says the JSC's judicial conduct committee must review her comment and establish whether she contravened her judicial oath.

The DA's Glynnis Breytenbach said, "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."

At the same time, 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.