JCC recommends probe into Judge Mabel Jansen's comments

Last year, Jansen caused a stir after taking to Facebook where she expressed her belief that rape was part of black people's culture.

FILE: Judge Mabel Jansen. Picture: LinkedIn.

JOHANNESBURG - The Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) has recommended that a tribunal investigates complaints of racism against Judge Mabel Jansen.

Last year, Jansen caused a stir after taking to Facebook where she expressed her belief that rape was part of black people's culture.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha subsequently placed her on special leave.

She maintained that her comments were taken out of context.

A Judicial Conduct Committee met last month and it was unanimously decided that racial remarks made by Judge Jansen constituted a prima facie case of “gross incompetence”.

The JCC resolved to recommend that the complaints be investigated and reported on by the judicial conduct tribunal.

It believes that the complaints against the judge provoked genuine outrage and that her Facebook statements suggested that she may harbour certain preconceived biases.

The committee was concerned that, potentially at least, she may not be able to bring an open and impartial mind to bear when determining matters that come before her involving a particular sector of society.

Added to this, there are concerns that the perception that she lacks impartiality, whether true or not, does little to enhance public trust, respect for and confidence in the judiciary.

A Facebook conversation between high court judge Mabel Jansen and other social media users. Picture: Twitter.

A Facebook conversation between high court judge Mabel Jansen and other social media users. Picture: Twitter.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)