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Judge Jansen placed on special leave

Mabel Jansen, in Facebook messages with a social justice activist, claimed 'rape is part of black culture'.

High court judge Mabel Jansen. Picture: LinkedIn.

JOHANNESBURG - The Minister of Justice Michael Masutha has approved special leave to Judge Mabel Jansen.

In a statement, the department says Minister Masutha's granting of the leave follows the request from Judge President Dunstan Mlambo of the Gauteng Division of the High Court, to place Judge Jansen on special leave, pending finalisation of a complaint submitted to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).

The complaint relates to comments on social media attributed to her which have caused outrage among members of the public.

Snippets of private Facebook conversation between social justice activist Gillian Schutte and Jansen went viral on social media, in which the judge claimed "rape is part of black culture".

Jansen took to Twitter to explain that comments were taken out of context.

Masutha says he takes the allegations of racism levelled against Judge Jansen in a very serious light.

"That I have not hesitated to grant leave, special leave in this instance, confirms how I view this allegation."

He says the judge has been effectively placed on special leave.

"I have granted leave for Madame Justice Mabel Jansen with immediate effect."

Yesterday, the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) said it would consider the seriousness of the grievance lodged against the judge, to decide whether further investigation will be necessary.

LISTEN: JSC receives formal complaint against Judge Mabel Jansen

Masutha has also approved an acting appointment to fill the vacancy in the period of Jansen's suspension.