Judge implies dad could rape daughter
Presiding officer labelled sexist
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.