South African Judge Mabel Jansen in race rape row – BBC News

6 months ago Comments Off on South African Judge Mabel Jansen in race rape row – BBC News

Mabel JansenImage copyright

Image caption

Judge Mabel Jansen said her comments had been taken out of context

A white South African judge has sparked a racism row after she purportedly said on social media that rape was part of the culture of black men.

Judge Mabel Jansen said the gang-rape of babies, girls and women was seen as a “pleasurable” past-time.

A petition has been launched to demand her removal as a judge. She said her comments had been taken out of context.

South Africa has been hit by a spate of racism rows in recent months, triggered by comments on social media.

The government has responded by saying that it intends to toughen anti-racism laws.

White minority rule and legalised racism ended in South Africa in 1994.

The latest row came after comments that Judge Jansen purportedly made on Facebook in a conversation with South African activist Gillian Schutte last year went viral at the weekend.

“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,” the judge is quoted as saying.

Image copyright

In another post attributed to her, she said that “murder is also not a biggy” for black men and “gang rapes of baby, daughter, and mother [were] a pleasurable pass [sic] time”.

Judge Jansen added, according to the post, that the “true facts are most definitely not that espoused by the liberals”.

Image copyright

The judge told local media that the posts were from last May, when she was in a private inbox exchange with Ms Schutte in an attempt to get help for victims of rape and assault.

“I was referring to specific cases,” the judge told News24.

“It is very bad when you are attacked on this basis, when you know it is the opposite. I don’t know what she is trying to do.”

Ms Schutte said she had made the posts public to to expose the “deep racism and colonial thinking” prevalent in South Africa.

The hashtag #‎MabelJansen is trending South Africa, and a petition, “Remove Judge Jansen for Racist Comments”, has been launched on Facebook.

Analysis: Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Johannesburg

Image copyright

The latest row, involving a judge, has raised many uncomfortable questions – top of the list being how many other judges harbour such apparently prejudiced views, despite the fact that they are supposed to see all people as equal before the law.

Many South Africans on social media are calling for her to be sacked, and legal experts say her comments could open the way for convicted black people to appeal against her rulings.

Racism on social media is becoming a common feature in South Africa, and some analysts say the time for a frank conversation about how to tackle the problem has come.

The concept of the rainbow nation, established in 1994 after the end of racial segregation, seems to be coming apart at the seams. Can it be rebuilt or will the situation get worse?

South African Judge Mabel Jansen in race rape row – BBC News