UTTERANCES made by Judge Mabel Jansen and widely reported on May 9 2016 are not only irresponsible but racist and patronizing.
Like other white supremacists, she arrogates to herself the role of a ‘cultural scientist’ who is qualified to reduce us to a case study through which she makes ‘erudite observations’ regarding our behaviour as seen under a microscope of a white racist lens.
In this regards Judge Jansen joins her ancestors who have been doing this from time immemorial.
Those of us who studied ‘African Customary Law’ will remember that our cultural practices were deemed by the racist regime to be ‘repugnant to public policy and natural justice’.
In case you are wondering why we have taken the trouble of responding to the utterances made by Judge Jansen, we, the practicing Advocates in Pretoria under the umbrella of the Concerned Black Advocates of the Pretoria Society of Advocates, have assumed this responsibility in the face of inaction from the Pretoria Bar (of which she was once a member).
But what is our understanding of Judge Jansen’s allegations?
We understand her to be saying or implying that:
- All black men are rapists;
- All black women have been raped at age 12;
- All black men rape women, girls and children as a matter of course;
- All black men rape and murder as a matter of course;
- A black woman’s body is there for the men’s pleasure;
- All black women are raped daily by members of their households;
- All black women are brainwashed to accept and defend “this” situation;
- All black children have their first sexual experience from their fathers;
- This is a “black culture”; and
- Now they want to include white women.
This is pure racism.
What Judge Jansen has written about black people is utterly repugnant in the extreme; not because she is a judge but as she is a white South African who benefitted from the atrocities of the apartheid system at our expense.
Judge Jansen is also a beneficiary of the progressive National Democratic Revolution (NDR) which generously classifies white South African women as a motive force “to be affirmed”.
Ms Jansen has the ‘Reconciliation Project’ to thank for the prestigious judicial position she occupies.
This dispensation did not come cheap. Many families were disrupted, many comrades were tortured in apartheid jails while other paid with something that is not replaceable…. their own lives.
Many of those who are actively participating in derailing the ‘Reconciliation Project’ through racist utterances do not seem to understand that the patience of black people is progressively and exponentially wearing out with the potential of ushering in what Mandela succeeded in preventing in the early 1990’s.
It is against this background that we see the irresponsible, racist and patronizing utterances of Judge Jansen.
The fact that Ms Jansen is a judge places a massive responsibility on us as advocates.
This is exacerbated by the fact that Advocates For Transformation (AFT) contributed to her meteoric rise. Those who know her well believe that she deserved her elevation because of her competence and contribution to transformation.
This is not at issue and is not materially relevant in assessing the impact of her utterances. In
Fact, AFT should not be embarrassed for having supported her appointment because this was done in good faith.
However, the seriousness of her recent misdemeanour cannot be mitigated by evidence of previous good behaviour, in as much as a spousal murder cannot be justified by the fact that the murderer once risked his life while saving his mother-in –law from drowning.
Even a feeble-minded person with a severely impaired power of judgement would appreciate that Ms Jansen’s utterances are morally vile and abhorrent… regardless of the context in which the remarks were made.
Admittedly we do not have the competency to pronounce on her fate but we can at least express our outrage and exasperation, and also impress on the powers that be that we shall not tolerate racist behaviour in our ranks.
Given the raising incidents of racist utterances in our country and how this gradually erodes the fabric of our society, it is incumbent upon us that within the sphere of influence to declare a ‘racist no fly zone’ in our profession.
We state categorically that we are disgusted and repulsed by the Judge’s utterances. Considering that Judge Jansen does not deny having expressed herself as alleged, and that she asserts to have done so in a context which, in her views justifies such expressions:
- We therefore call for her immediate placement on special leave pending an inquiry into her conduct.
The opinion piece was penned by Advocates Kekana Matthews, Mojapelo Matthews, Baloyi‐Mere Elizabeth, Manala Matlhaba and Ramaimela Kgaogelo on behalf of the Concerned Black Advocates of the Pretoria Society of Advocates.