She has avoided the media for over 40 years while climbing the legal ranks spanning two contrasting governments and now holds the highest judicial seat in the North West. The first woman Judge President has made history again, but this time her own personal best. Judge President Monica Leeuw spoke to the media for the time since the beginning of her career. In an exclusive interview with You FM at her home in the Mafikeng, North West, the stalwart spoke openly on her career life as a wife, mother, and grandmother. She also spoke about issues dear to her heart especially gender-based violence and how the justice system can help.
Her interview with You FM was part of a radio series profiling women of high calibre and social impact. You FM ran the initiative as part of its August 'Phenomenal Woman in You' campaign. Judge President Leeuw's interview was the last in the month-long series. The August's 'Phenomenal Woman in You' campaign also saw the likes of radio veteran Mme Thuli Moagi co-hosting a full show on the 10 August (Women’s Day Observed) and legendary songstress Yvonne Chakachaka interviewed on air. The Judge President joined the list of a phenomenal line up of women featured by the station in a dedicated feature under the banner #womaninyou hosted by Bonolo ‘Beesting’ Molosiwa on her three hour 'You Before-Noon' show.
“When it comes to engaging with the media, I have always stayed away because I am a very private person, even besides the fact that my job poses many security risks if exposed to the media.” The Judge President said to host Beesting just before going on the airwaves and live on social networks.
You FM defies broadcasting boundaries
You FM pushed the boundaries for the exclusive interview when it was simulcast on the radio, DSTV audio bouquet, YouTube and Facebook along with live tweets on the event. You FM said it is stretching what can be achieved through a combination of radio and digital broadcasting. “The mix of the platforms was not mere duplication from one platform and syndicated through to the other. The different platforms were selected and utilised for their unique purposes, most importantly, considering the different types of audiences per media/platform and adhering to that platform’s audience's consumption behaviours,” said Banele Rewo Digital Manager in the campaign.
Word of advice
News agency Newsnote Networks recognised an opportunity for a news piece and joined You FM on this unprecedented interview. The agency spoke to the judge on matters making headlines in recent times; Gender-based violence. Speaking to Newsnote, the Judge President had a message for young women on using social media first to report cases versus the justice system.
“I don’t support that because you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Rape is a criminal offense and the correct thing to do is report the matter to the police because this person who has been accused also has rights," said Justice Leeuw. Leeuw urged young to women to report rape cases to the police instead of social media, saying everyone has a constitutional right to be innocent until proven guilty." Newsnote quoted Leeuw as saying.
The Judge President welcomed the Cabinet's latest developments approving the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Bill, the National Register for Sexual Offences, and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.
“However, the courts are enjoined by the constitution to apply and observe the basic human rights entrenched therein,” she said. The judge expressed concern over young women dropping charges against abusers. Listen to the interview with Judge President Monica Leeuw on You FM’s website here... https://bit.ly/3jTwnxQ