Judge im­plies dad could rape daugh­ter

Pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer la­belled sex­ist

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Peter Ramoth­wala

A fa­ther who is fight­ing for the cus­tody of his two-year-old daugh­ter has laid a com­plaint against the pre­sid­ing judge for al­legedly in­sin­u­at­ing that he could rape his child.

The Tho­hoyan­dou-based fa­ther lodged the griev­ance with the Ju­di­cial Com­mis­sion Ser­vices on De­cem­ber 8 against a Lim­popo High Court judge. The fa­ther wants the judge to re­cuse him­self from pre­sid­ing over his mat­ter fol­low­ing re­marks he ap­par­ently made in his cham­bers on the eve of the hear­ing and re­peated dur­ing court pro­ceed­ings.

In a let­ter of com­plaint to the com­mis­sion, the 44-year-old fa­ther said he had filed an ap­pli­ca­tion for cus­tody and ac­cess to his daugh­ter, whose mother has died.

He said the mat­ter was heard in court on De­cem­ber 4 and it was post­poned to next month.

“The mat­ter went be­fore the judge, who made com­ments that are un­eth­i­cal for some­one hear­ing the com­plaint I brought be­fore the court. The judge made re­marks that por­tray me, the fa­ther of the child, as a ‘cock’ and my daugh­ter as ‘chick’, which the cock can’t feed,” he said.

“His com­ments mean that cocks are ei­ther dan­ger­ous or reck­less, there­fore they don’t feed their chicks [even] though he cited cer­tain cul­tures as a rea­son to say this,” he said. The fa­ther said the judge’s state­ment in­di­cated that he also sub­scribed to such be­liefs be­cause the day be­fore the hear­ing in his cham­bers, he had ap­par­ently gone fur­ther than “feed­ing” and im­plied rape.

“He said that if a cock stays in a hen’s house it mates with the hen. “There­fore, rather ac­cess to the child be ar­ranged for me than cus­tody.

“This im­plies that if I’m un­der the same roof with daugh­ter, I will rape her,” the fa­ther said.

He said he was in­formed of this by his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive as he was not part of the con­sul­ta­tion in the cham­bers. The judge could not be reached for a com­ment. Com­mis­sion sec­re­tary Sello Chiloane said: “It is true that we did re­ceive a com­plaint lodged against the judge in the Lim­popo Di­vi­sion of the high court.

The com­plaint will be con­sid­ered by the Ju­di­cial Con­duct Com­mit­tee.”

The fa­ther said re­fer­ring to him as a cock and his daugh­ter as chick was of­fen­sive, sex­ist and cast as­per­sions that he is a rapist.

“For these rea­sons, I fear that the judge has shown bias against me as a fa­ther even be­fore hear­ing the case. I want him to re­cuse him­self from the case,” he said.

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