Robbers break into SA judge’s home, demand ‘Malema file’
PRETORIA — Two armed men who broke into suspended High Court Judge Mabel Jansen’s house wanted the court files for EFF leader Julius Malema’s tax case.
The gunmen had demanded the “Julius Malema file”, News24 can reveal.
Jansen was presiding over the dispute between the South African Revenue Service and the Economic Freedom Fighters leader. At the centre of the dispute was the payment of R20m, specifically R18m in taxes and R2m in interest for the tax reporting period 2005 to 2011.
On Tuesday, News24 reported that two men forced their way into Jansen’s Pretoria home in the early hours of Friday morning and held Jansen’s long-serving domestic worker at gunpoint.
Jansen was in Europe. Her staff told her about the robbery.
Speaking on Jansen’s behalf, Kirk Russell of Abstergo Communications said the men demanded specific court files.
“With a gun to her head she was asked where the court files are. They specifically asked for the files of Julius Malema.”
When the woman was unable to tell them where the file was, the two ransacked Jansen’s study. They pulled books and files from the shelves, and the sheets off the beds and turned over mattresses. Jansen’s court computer was stolen in the robbery. Malema told News24 there was a hidden hand in the matter. In the current political landscape, “anything is possible”.
“We are finding ourselves in a situation where the state is presided over by criminals and they become desperate, especially if they can’t fault you politically. This comes as no shock to me,” he said.
“The state will do everything in their power to try and silence some of us. We hope that the police can be trusted in this case.”
Malema hoped Jansen and her employees would be safe.
“The domestic workers were brought into something that doesn’t involve them. They are not part of these political shenanigans. This is an intimidation tactic and harassment of the judiciary and it will not succeed.
“When we entered this game we knew we would be confronted with these things at some point,” he said.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha put Jansen on special leave in May, after comments she made to journalist Gillian Schutte were made public on Facebook.
Earlier that month, Schutte posted excerpts of a yearold exchange she had had with Jansen on the social network.
Jansen wrote of black people: “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.
“I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead serious.”
Jansen said she was referring to rape cases that she had presided over. She said the comments were taken out of context and were private. She had just lost her husband in a car accident.—News24 THE HAGUE — Congolese former rebel Bosco Ntaganda has gone on hunger strike and is refusing to appear at his international war crimes trial in protest against his detention conditions, judges were told on Tuesday.
Ntaganda has also instructed his defence team to stop acting on his behalf at his trial which opened at the International Criminal Court in The Hague a year ago.
In a long, rambling, written statement seen by AFP, Ntaganda, who was absent from the courtroom, said “there is no possibility that I will see my wife and children again under normal conditions”. “That’s why I am ready to die.” Last week, presiding judge Robert Fremr refused to lift visiting restrictions, citing concern he could be trying to interfere with witnesses or intimidate them.
But Fremr insisted “nothing in the restrictions prevents family visits from taking place”.
Ntaganda has denied 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity arising out of savage ethnic attacks carried out in the Democratic Republic of Congo by his rebel Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) in 2002-2003.
In his statement, read in court by his lawyer he said, “When I gave myself up three years ago, I thought I would be able to defend myself. But I know now that is not the case. I know there is no way out, and I no longer have any hope.”
The judges rejected a defence request to adjourn the trial until Monday, and said the hearings would resume yesterday, ordering his defence team to appear in court to represent him.
The judges also ordered that a medical professional should assess Ntaganda’s fitness and that a visit from his family should be arranged expeditiously.
Prosecution lawyer Nicole Samson argued that the “onset of depression seems to have been a fairly speedy one and appears in our submission . . . to be a manipulative tactic aimed at halting proceedings and negotiating with the chamber.”
Ntaganda was handed over to the ICC after he turned himself into the US embassy in Kigali in 2013.
The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been mired for two decades in ethnically-charged wars, as rebels battle for control of its rich mineral resources.
Prosecutors say the man once dubbed “The Terminator” played a central role in the Ituri conflict which rights groups believe alone has left some 60 000 dead since 1999. — AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves to officials in this undated photo —Reuters