The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) notes the resignation of High Court Judge Mabel Jansen, as announced by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development yesterday. The now infamous comments by Judge Jansen on social media have been correctly condemned in all sectors of our society.
The LSSA once again condemns any form of racism in our society and particularly within the judiciary. As a profession and a country we rightly look upon our independent judiciary with pride.
However, there is no place for any undercurrent of racism in judges appointed to the Bench. In this regard the recent revelations at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews about alleged institutional racism in some of our courts, are also noted. Should these allegations be based on any semblance of fact, it is also condemned unconditionally.
In this regard the LSSA encourages the JSC to continue interrogating any potential judicial appointees on any history of racist tendencies. In order for us to move forward as a society we need to start respecting each individual as an equal, as enshrined in our Constitution.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA, WALID BROWN AND DAVID BEKKER