Judge Jansen’s rape comments spark calls for effective transformation

The ANC has called for more effort following racist remarks by High Court judge Mabel Jansen.

FILE: High Court Judge Mabel Jansen. Picture: LinkedIn.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) says more effort is required to transform the judiciary following racist remarks made by high court judge Mabel Jansen.

Jansen has received fierce backlash for controversial comments she made last year, suggesting that rape is part of black culture.

The Facebook comments have been reported to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), which has been called on to investigate.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has also taken steps to request that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) investigate what it says is a violation of peoples' dignity.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says while Jansen's utterances are unfortunate, not all members of the judiciary share her beliefs.

"We can't assume that everybody within the bench, regardless of their colour, thinks in the same way. There are always good and bad apples and she represents bad apples. I think her conduct must be investigated."

At the same time, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says Jansen's views may have had an impact in the cases of black offenders which she presided over.

The foundation's Neeshan Balton says, "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."

'GROSS MISCONDUCT'

The Black Lawyers Association has described Jansen's racist comments on social media as 'gross misconduct'.

The association's Lutendo Sigogo says the outcomes of Jansen's murder and rape cases must be reviewed.

"We are now doubtful on whether she was influenced by these other prejudices, which she appears to be suffering from."

Sigogo says justice is meant to be blind and Jansen has a responsibility to treat all South Africans equally.

"The moment utter racist utterances, it shows that you are now no longer upholding the laws of South Africa."

'OUT OF CONTEXT'

Jansen has since taken to Twitter to say her comments were taken out of context, but social media users are not convinced.

Disgusted by the #MabelJansen comments. Ignorance, racism & bigotry must get on the next trip out of South Africa! 😒 pic.twitter.com/jT6BVxHkQF

  1. I hear the JSC is investigating #MabelJansen. Good.She can explain the "context" of her racist comments there. & then step down. Hamba!

#MabelJansen's comments violate s7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. JSC could remove her as judge if found guilty. pic.twitter.com/lKdGjuUR8t

Racist remarks of Gauteng High Court Judge @mabel_jansen.

We don't want her apology or body. Just her head. Resign! pic.twitter.com/YqvNunXu1F

I feel sorry for those who truly believe that racist mindsets will dissipate. The institution of racism is firmly-entrenched. #MabelJansen

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.