Jansen's comments show judges are not 'supernatural beings' - ANC

2016-05-09 13:22
Judge Mabel Jansen. (Twitter)

Judge Mabel Jansen. (Twitter)

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Johannesburg - The allegedly racist comments by High Court Judge Mabel Jansen have rubbished the notion that judges are beyond reproach, the ANC said on Monday. 

"It rubbishes the notion that judges are some supernatural beings... people who are beyond reproach. That kind of stereotype from someone who is on the bench does create problems," spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said. 

This was in reference to comments Jansen made on Facebook about black people and rape. 

Journalist Gillian Schutte posted excerpts of written exchanges with Jansen on Saturday and Sunday, in which Jansen said: “In their culture a woman is there to pleasure them. Period. It is seen as an absolute right and a woman's consent is not required.''

As excerpts of the conversation were shared on social media, comments flooded back reflecting shock that a judge could hold such opinions. Calls for her removal gathered pace.

‘Transform the bench’

Kodwa said this was “proof” the judiciary needed to be transformed. Jansen’s views meant there was more work to be done. 

"The bench should look at transformation. Yes we have done a lot but we have not gone far. We still have to transform the bench," he added.

Land Reform Minister Gugile Nwinti appealed to judges not to abuse judicial powers and become more sensitive to race. He said in all institutions there were good and bad apples. 

A petition on Amandla.mobi called on the Judicial Services Commission and the Department of Justice to remove her.

By Monday afternoon, it had just over 2 600 electronic signatures.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  judiciary

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