Mbete shocked by Judge Jansen's rape comments

Speaker says country should continue to condemn all acts of violence

Mbete shocked by Judge Jansen's rape comments

12 May 2016

Cape Town – Rape is not part of any culture, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said on Thursday.

Giving her budget speech in Parliament, Mbete said she was shocked to hear a member of the bench attributing rape to a certain race.

This followed complaints against High Court Judge Mabel Jansen after she was accused of making racist comments about black people and rape on Facebook.

Journalist Gillian Schutte posted excerpts of written exchanges with Jansen on Saturday and Sunday, in which Jansen said: "In their culture a woman is there to pleasure them. Period. I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead serious."

Mbete said the country should continue to condemn all acts of violence.

"We simply cannot be a democracy for some, but not for women victims. Our democracy must continue to be gender sensitive to these offences and mete out harsh punishments for such crime," she said.

She also condemned the reports of rape and sexual violence around campuses across the country.

The speaker touched on various issues, including relations with MPs, the recent Constitutional Court ruling, funding, and the recent request by President Jacob Zuma to consider the costs of keeping two capitals.

"We cannot continue as if the challenges we face in this regard are not substantive and real. The space and facilities of members must be conducive to optimal outputs," she said.

Mbete said she knew those from Cape Town would not agree with the move.

She said, since the fifth Parliament, the atmosphere in the National Assembly has been challenging.

However, Mbete said, away from the TV cameras, that parties were generally collegial and friendly.

"It is only when the eyes of TV cameras are trained on honourable members that the sugar rush tends to kick in and members disobey the chair, as they do."

Parliament had been allocated R2.189bn, which was R956m less than what they had requested, she said.

This article first appeared on News24, see here