The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), as previously indicated in its media statement dated 10 May 2016 RE: Racial Comments by Judge Mabel Jansen, has lodged a formal complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
The complaint filed by NADEL is in many respects akin to the complaint lodged for and on behalf of the Advocates for Transformation (“AFT”). However, in addition to the complaint filed by AFT, NADEL further raise concerns regarding the public nature of the conduct complained of and the apparent gender implications.
NADEL has requested the JSC to investigate the complaint against Judge Jansen and to take appropriate action to recommend that she be removed as a judicial officer as contemplated in section 177 of the Constitution.
NADEL notes ,with concern, reports that a complaint was made over a year ago with the JSC, however, on grounds of technicality, it was not investigated nor was the initial complainant appraised of the shortcomings regarding filing of her complaint. Taking into account the seriousness of the complaint and public interest we are of the opinion that the JSC ought to have handled the matter differently and perhaps provided assistance to the complainant in the interest of justice. Public bodies like the JSC ought to refrain from being technical in genuine concerns brought to its attention by the citizens, less the public will lose confidence to the constitutional structures designed to provide remedies for the concerned members of the community.
NADEL welcomes the undertaking by the JSC to investigate the matter and the steps taken by the Minister of Justice, the JP of Gauteng High Court and the willingness of Justice Jansen to be placed on Special leave whilst the matter is receiving attention. While NADEL has the utmost faith in the JSC to deal with the matter efficiently, in light of the importance of the complaint and the nature of the trauma our society has been subjected to, we call for an open, expeditious and transparent conclusion of the investigations including possible institution of the disciplinary proceedings.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS (NADEL), SOUTH AFRICA.
By: Memory Sosibo, Publicity Secretary, NADEL Executive Committee,
Contact: 081 710 7910