A senior white high court judge in Pretoria, South Africa, has sparked a racist row by saying rape is part of black culture. The judge, Mabel Jansen, made the comments during an online rant, the screenshots of which went viral on social media.
“In their culture a woman is there to pleasure them. Period,” she purportedly wrote on Facebook during a conversation with social activist Gillian Schutte over the treatment of women by black men. “It is seen as an absolute right and a woman’s consent is not required… I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead serious.”
Although the comments were made in 2015, Schutte just made them public.
“Murder is also is not a biggy (sic),” Jansen continued, according to the post. “And gang rapes of baby, daughter and mother [are] a pleasurable pastime.”
Following the massive backlash over the weekend, the judge said she made the remarks in a private Facebook exchange, and that they were taken out of context. Schutte, on the other hand, claimed she made the conversation public to illustrate the prevalent “deep racism and colonial thinking” prevalent and to “ponder how deeply the rot of this 'surface racism' impacts on the institutional and systemic war against blackness in a post liberation South Africa.”
What I stated confidentially to somebody in a position to help has been taken completely out of context and referred to specific court cases— Mabel Jansen (@mabel_jansen) May 8, 2016
Jansen is now facing an investigation for her alleged misconduct.
The Judicial Service Commission has also asked Justice Minister Michael Masutha to put her on “special leave,” while it deals with the complaint lodged against Jansen by leading South African advocate Vuyani Ngalwana, who called the outburst “shocking beyond belief.”
The commission said its conduct committee would handle the situation in a “just and proper” way.
A wave of racism rows has hit the country in recent months. Just recently, a black Oxford student, Ntokozo Qwabe, made headlines after he subjected a Cape Town waitress to sheer racism by telling her they would give her a tip “when you return the land.”