Moseneke and I braaied wors together - Judge Jansen in tribute

2016-05-11 13:52

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Cape Town – Beleaguered Pretoria High Court Judge Mabel Jansen once shared the bond she had with Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who was her colleague in the eighties, in a tribute.

She penned a tribute to their friendship in the Advocate journal in 2005, titled "Justice Dikgang Ernest Moseneke - message of triumph."

In it, she reflected on his humanity, his dedication to his family, and their time spent together at chambers on Church Square in Pretoria.

"We shared a certain bond - neither black nor female advocates were truly welcome at the Bar during those early years," she said.

And yet the camaraderie was unequalled.

"On Friday afternoons, we placed a Weber braai in the centre of advocate Chris de Jager SC's chambers, and grilled boerewors and chops. It is a miracle that we did not burn down Church Square Chambers."

'He never played the sympathy card'

When she commenced practice at the Pretoria Bar in 1984, she was able to witness Moseneke in action at one of the first trials she attended.

What stood out for her were his thin elegant fingers he used to drive points home.

Later, she learnt he had been a passionate ballroom dancer and tennis player at school.

She described her enduring relationship with Moseneke, saying he accepted the card that life had dealt him with great equanimity.

"The fact that the struggle to make a success of a career at the Bar would not be as easy for him as for his white colleagues, did not deter him. He never played the sympathy card."

'A person of integrity and honour'

His success was due to his integrity, diligence, enthusiasm and humbleness, she said.

"This is the man who prizes his family: his wife Kabonina, his daughter Duduzile, and his sons, Sedesi and Rabi, above all else."

Moseneke’s strength was that he was a mensch, a person of integrity and honour, she said.

Jansen was placed on special leave on Tuesday after she was accused of making racist comments about black people and rape on Facebook.

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."

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, comments flooded back reflecting shock that a judge could hold such opinions.

Speaking to News24 at the weekend, Jansen said that the comments referred specifically to the cases she had handled.

Read more on:    mabel jansen  |  dikgang moseneke  |  social media  |  judiciary  |  racism

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