South African judge Mabel Jansen later claimed her remarks were taken “out of context”.
Mabel Jansen, a white South African judge claims ‘rape is black culture’
“yet to meet a black girl who wasn’t raped by the age of 12”
Online rant sparks outrage
‘…..Oh dear, just as we thought we had seen the last of the ugly thread of apartheid? now this. It is offensive on all levels, from an officer of the law, no less. Wonder how many black men in that country are languishing in jail because they were pre-judged even before arraignment. In context, the world has bigger fish frying now than having to deal with the dumbness of pulling these scabs’
A white South African high court judge is the subject of the latest in a series of race rows in the country after she said that black South African men regarded rape as a cultural right.
Mabel Jansen, a high court judge for the past three years who works in Pretoria, told commenters on a Facebook thread that “99 per cent” of her cases were “black fathers/uncles/brothers raping children as young as 5 years old”, then asked one poster: “Is this part of your culture?”
She claimed that she was “yet to meet a black girl who wasn’t raped by the age of 12”. She said the “poverty etc” created by apartheid was “largely to blame” for South Africa’s widely-acknowledged sexual violence epidemic but added: “Fact: Apartheid existed. Fact: Black children and women are raped and abused and beaten and mistreated by black men to an extent that is so sickening one cannot even cope with it. And that is a FACT.”
Mrs Jansen’s comments, which were made in May last year but came to light when they were shared by a social justice activist, have sparked outrage in South Africa where social media has played a role in bringing to the fore racist attitudes in some quarters and hosting passionate debates about them.
In January, a Durban estate agent told Facebook friends that black people had flocked to the local beaches “like monkeys” over the holidays. Last week, a black Rhodes Must Fall activist was pilloried when he recounted how he and fellow diners made a white waitress “cry white tears” when they refused to pay her a tip.
In a series of comments, Mrs Jansen said that black mothers were “so brain-washed that they tell the children that it is the fathers’ birth right to be the first”. “In their culture (black men) a woman is there to pleasure them. Period. It is seen as an absolute right and a woman’s consent is not required,” she wrote. “Murder is also not biggy. And gang rapes of baby, daughter and mother a pleasurable pass time.” She was challenged over her comments by Gillian Schuttel, the activist that publicised her comments, who suggested that her experience was directly related to the field she worked in and was not applicable to society more broadly.
“The majority of black fathers, husbands and uncles do not rape 5 year olds,” she wrote.
Mrs Jansen responded: “One would believe not. You are more than welcome to come and look at my files. It will be a great eye-opener. Apparently sex is simply to be had when required. Apparently it is not regarded as rape but the exertion of a male’s right.” Since the comments were made public, there have been calls for Mrs Jansen to be suspended. The
Black Lawyers Association said the country’s judiciary had to be trusted that they would “treat all people as equal before the law”.
It called for her to be removed from her post immediately and for all her rape and murder cases where black people were either defendants or victims to be reviewed.
“For a judge to hold a view that black people are, in terms of their culture, rapists and murderers is so unacceptable that she cannot be found to be fit and proper person to continue to occupy a position of judge,” said its president Lutendo Benedict Sigogo.
The country’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, also waded into the row, referring the judge to the Judicial Services Council which appoints them. The JSC said it would respond to the row on Tuesday morning.
Mrs Jansen has argued her remarks were taken “out of context”.
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