04/05/2017 15:45 SAST | Updated 04/05/2017 16:14 SAST

Judge Mabel Jansen Resigns Over Damaging Race, Rape Comments

Jansen was placed on special leave and was facing a disciplinary process over her comments.


Judge Mabel Jansen, who was facing a disciplinary process over comments she made about rape and race, has resigned with immediate effect, the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services announced on Thursday.

Jansen has written to President Jacob Zuma and to Justice Minister Michael Masutha, informing them of her resignation with immediate effect, spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.

"Minister Masutha has acknowledged the letter, thanked her for her valuable service and is processing the letter for the President's attention."

Jansen was placed on special leave following a social media storm after journalist Gillian Schutte posted excerpts of written exchanges with the judge about the prevalence of rape in "black culture".

The posts included comments by Jansen, such as: "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," as well as "I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead serious."

Mhaga said the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) was busy processing the complaint when she tendered her resignation.

"Her resignation will obviate a protracted disciplinary process," Mhaga said.

Jansen declined to comment.

"I can't talk anybody at this stage. I am sorry," she said.