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Judge Mabel Jansen could face impeachment if found guilty

Last year Jansen caused outrage after taking to Facebook & expressing her belief that rape was part of black people's culture.

High Court Judge Mabel Jansen. Picture: LinkedIn.

JOHANNESBURG – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) says Judge Mabel Jansen may face impeachment if found guilty of gross misconduct by a tribunal.

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

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.

The Judicial Conduct Committee has recommended a tribunal investigate complaints of racism against the judge, saying the remarks constitute a prima facie case of gross incompetence.

While Justice Minister Michael Masutha subsequently placed her on special leave she maintained her comments were taken out of context.

A Facebook conversation by high court judge Mabel Jansen. Picture: Twitter.

The Judicial Conduct Committee says the complaints against the judge provoked genuine outrage and that her Facebook statements suggested she may harbour certain preconceived biases.

The committee is also concerned that the perception that she lacks impartiality, whether true or not, does little to enhance public trust, respect for and confidence in the judiciary.

JSC spokesperson FC Fourie says, “If a tribunal finds her guilty of or finds incapacity, gross incompetence or gross misconduct on her part, that may result in impeachment.”

He says the commission will consider recommendations from the tribunal during its sitting in April.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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