Joburg Bar Council endorses probe of Jansen's remarks

2016-05-11 16:06
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Cape Town – The Johannesburg Bar Council on Wednesday endorsed a request to urgently investigate the conduct of controversial High Court Judge Mabel Jansen.

“In our view, the racist and offensive remarks evidence a disposition and conduct that is incompatible with the holding of judicial office," chair Jennifer Cane SC said in a notice to all members.

“The Bar Council condemns in the strongest terms any conduct by a judge that has the effect of bringing the judiciary into disrepute and undermining the values of the Constitution.”

Justice Minister Michael Masutha earlier approved a request for special leave for Jansen after she was accused of making racist comments about black people and rape on Facebook.

The council had immediately initiated an investigation to see if a complaint was before the Judicial Service Commission.

Complaint laid

Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana SC laid a complaint against Jansen in his personal capacity, and in his capacity as Johannesburg branch chair of the Advocates for Transformation.

Cane said that given the nature of the complaint, they welcomed that Jansen would be on special leave pending the investigation.

The controversy around Jansen started after journalist Gillian Schutte posted excerpts of written exchanges with the judge a year ago.

Referring to cases she had presided over, 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."

She also said: "I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead serious."

As excerpts of the conversation were shared on social media, people expressed shock that a judge could hold such opinions.

Read more on:    mabel jansen  |  johannesburg  |  judiciary  |  racism

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