BLA welcomes the rather delayed resignation by Judge Mable Jansen

The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) was at the forefront calling for the impeachment of Judge Jansen alternatively that she must, of her own volition, resign from her position as a judge. This call was made on the basis that Judge Jansen’s utterances, through her social media platform, constitute racist remarks and were not befitting of a sitting judge. BLA lodged a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) calling for Judge Jansen’s impeachment as her conduct constitutes gross misconduct. The Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) of the JSC after hearing Judge Jansen recommended to the JSC that her conduct should be referred to the Judicial Conduct Tribunal (JCT) for further inquiry as the JCC believed that her conduct constitutes gross misconduct. The JSC accepted the recommendations by the JCC.

The finding by the JCC and the acceptance of the JCC’s recommendation by the JSC confirmed the BLA’s call that the conduct of Judge Jansen constitutes gross misconduct which warrants impeachment.

Against the above backdrop the announcement of resignation of Judge Jansen by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services on the 04th day of May 2017, came as no shock to the BLA as Judge Jansen was destined to rewrite history and become the first South African Judge to be impeached for misconduct. The resignation of Judge Jansen marks the victory of the Constitution of South Africa and the entire population in a fight against racism.

The BLA welcomes the long overdue resignation of Judge Jansen. However, the BLA strongly holds the view that the only suitable punishment for the conduct of Judge Jansen is impeachment. The resignation of Judge Jansen has come as a great relief to us as it exonerated our efforts and campaign to get Judge Jansen discharged of her judicial duties for her misconduct as worthwhile. The BLA will remain resolute and conscious in the fight against racism and any form of discrimination irrespective of who the perpetrators are. This is the course that the BLA will continue to champion without apology.

The BLA believes that Judge Jansen’s fate will be a lesson to all South Africans, most importantly those in positions of power and trust, that racism has no space in our democracy and same shall not be tolerated. Those who will be found foul of committing this apartheid era disgraceful offense shall not be left unpunished. Impunity for racial discrimination transgressions belongs to the past.

Lutendo Sigogo
Black Lawyers Association: President