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Mzansi Magic probes alleged racist incident on set of 'Ring of Lies'

Mzanzi Magic told The Star it’s been in contact with cast members regarding the incident & is investigating.

Mzansi Magic's new drama series, 'Ring of Lies'. Picture: Screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Mzanzi Magic is investigating allegations of racism on the set of local drama series Ring of Lies.

Prominent actress Florence Masebe claims a crew member lashed out at the shows black director yesterday saying, "I can speak to you any way I like because I'm white".

Mzanzi Magic, the channel that broadcasts the production, has told The Star it's been in contact with cast members regarding the incident and is investigating.

Masebe took to twitter last night and revealed the alleged racist exchange between a white crew member and a black director.

She also tweeted that: "racism is out here dancing on our set" and received a number of responses from irate followers.

Creative director Sam Lotter dell weighed in as well but he says the crew member was incorrectly quoted, which is tantamount to character defamation.

Mzanzi Magic is investigating the incident saying it strongly condemns any acts of discrimination.

HIGH COURT JUDGE MABEL JANSEN

At the same time, the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) says clarity is now needed on whether any criminal cases were influenced by the views of High Court Judge Mabel Jansen after her controversial comments on rape and the black community were publicised.

A complaint has been lodged with the judicial conduct committee over Jansen's Facebook comments that caused a social media storm.

The Pretoria High Court judge expressed her belief that black men feel it's their right to sexually assault women and children.

The association says Jansen's comments have cast a shadow of doubt on her judgments.

Association President Lutendo Sigogo says, "What we're calling is unprecedented but we're saying it's been necessary. We must now be sure that the cases she decided on were not influenced by her stereotypes, so the cases, if need be, should be reviewed, particularly of rape and murder which involved black people."

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Jansen have met and agreed to request that Justice Minister Michael Masutha place her on special leave.

Judicial Service Commission (JSC) spokesperson Dumisa Ntsebeza says a conversation has taken place between Jansen and Mogoeng to decide on a way forward for her.

"Both of them have agreed on a process to be followed to ask the minister of justice and correctional cervices for the judge to be placed on long leave."

In the meantime, the judicial conduct committee will assess the nature of the complaint made against her and make the necessary recommendations.

Organisations in the legal fraternity have weighed in on the matter, saying they are shocked by Jansen's conduct.

JSC TO DEAL WITH JANSEN CONDUCT

JSC confirmed on Tuesday that its processes will start to assess Jansen's conduct.

Ntsebeza said the JCC will make the necessary recommendations, based on how serious it finds the complaint against Judge Jansen.

"If however, the JCC considers that it is a serious matter, it might ask the Chief Justice to submit their recommendations."

While several people claimed to have lodged complaints with the commission, only one of them has been recognised by the secretariat for adhering to the correct format.

The JSC also said complaints against judges must comply with certain requirements in order to be considered.

Activist, Gillian Schutte, who made Jansen's comments public, claims she filed a complaint last year, which was not followed through by the judicial conduct committee.

Ntsebeza said complaints to the secretariat must be submitted in a particular format.

"If it is not an affidavit, then it must be a statement the maker of the statement must state that he or she affirms the truth of the contents thereof; otherwise if it's just a statement or an email, then there is no way it is going to be recognised."

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