Featured Image: High Court Judge Mabel Jansen. Photo: telegraph.co.uk
BO Staff Writer
A year old face book exchange has surfaced which puts the entire South African judiciary under the spot light. The High court judge Mable Jansen has been found to have expressed the most racist statements about black people. Whilst many people were surprised by this, many black consciousness activists on social media where not fazed, they said what was surprising was the surprise itself, because a racist in a racist society is normal.
Judge Jansen expressed a white supremacist depiction of black men as inherently violent and rapists. This notion of black men as deranged animals controlled by their genitalia, is held by the entire western trope and is often internalised even by black people themselves, who then project the black man as a violent enemy of peace and civilisation. The Facebook comments of the judge, which include saying the rape of babies and murder are part of black culture, raises the question of how the South African judiciary judges black people. The views expressed by Judge Jansen are known to be white views globally, she just had the courage to express them. There is no reason to believe the rest of the white judges do not hold similar views.
The racism of the judiciary raises the question of whether the black people convicted by the white judges could be said to have faced a fair trial. A strong case can be made that all black people convicted by white magistrates and judges actually faced a miscarriage of justice and therefore should be allowed to walk on grounds of mistrials. The question is being asked, are the black people in jail today victims of racism of the courts?
Petitions are being circulated calling for Judge Jansen to be fired from the bench. The bigger question not asked is what about those black people she must have sent to jail because of her belief that they are inclined to commit crimes. Shouldn’t all her judgements be reviewed? A further question is what about the rest of the white magistrates and judges? Why would they be free of the views of Jansen?
The sad development in post 1994 South Africa is that most black judges has sought acceptability from their racist white colleagues and have mimicked them in order to gain approval and praise. It must be remembered how the judge president Mogoeng Mogoeng was vilified as a Zuma man and his work and track record rubbished. He was only accepted and praised after the Nkandla decision, showing how much pressure black judges find themselves under to conform to white expectations.
People like Judge Mable Jansen determine the culture and ethos of the bench and most blacks have to fit in and thereby become agents of white supremacy. The removal of white judges on black cases would be an important first step, but the whole culture and jurisprudential practices of the courts have to change too if blacks have to get justice. We must thank honest racists like, Jansen, Penny Sparrow and Gareth Cliff for reminding blacks that South Africa is a white country built on stolen land.
Yes, Judge Jansen must go! But so too must all white judges and their racist reasoning and beliefs.