South Africa: Senior South African judge under fire for racist comments

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - In the latest race row to rock South Africa, a senior white judge is under fire for implying that the act of rape is part of black culture.

Gauteng High Court Judge Mabel Jansen said she was unfairly accused of being a racist after comments she posted on Facebook went viral.

Jansen said her comments were taken out of context, and that she was referring specifically to rape cases she had heard in court.

“In their culture, a woman is there to pleasure them,” she said. In another Facebook post, she said “99 percent of criminal cases I hear is of black fathers/uncles/brothers raping children as young as 5 years old”.

The Women's League of the ruling African National Congress on Monday called on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to see whether Jansen should be removed for her comments.

League spokesperson Meokgo Matuba described the comments as “purely racist and a misrepresentation of facts about black culture”.

The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said it intended to report Jansen to the JSC and wanted the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate her.

“The judge’s comments that rape is part of black culture is not only hurtful and demeaning, but fundamentally undermines the dignity of our people, and in doing so, violates the Constitution,” said DA Member of Parliament Glynnis Breytenbach.

She added that “racism offends the very pillars of our democracy and undermines the vision of Nelson Mandela that South Africa is one nation, united in our diversity, belonging to all who live in it”.

There have been other major racism rows involving social media in recent months. A Durban estate agent is in hiding after referring to black South Africans as “monkeys” in a Facebook message in January.  

Penny Sparrow who was complaining about the litter on Durban’s beaches received death threats. Shortly afterwards, respected economist Chris Hart fuelled the flames when he rushed to Sparrow’s defence and tweeted: "More than 25 years after Apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities…"

And just last week, a Cape Town man came under fire for a racial attack on Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula on Facebook.
-0- PANA CU/AR 9May2016

09 may 2016 17:59:46

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