Residents from Kannaland municipality should know that their newly elected Independent Civic Organisation of SA (ICOSA) – a minor South African political party – candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor are both convicted criminals. One is a convicted child rapist that received a slap on the wrist and the other a convicted fraudster. Both these candidates were re-elected with the support of the ANC.
“Action Society calls for Kannaland’s mayor, Jeffrey Donson, to be removed as mayor he is a dignity thief of not only his own 15-year-old victim that he raped, but also other victims. We also call for the removal of Werner Meshoa, the deputy mayor. Meshoa was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice while he was speaker of the Kannaland council. It is an outrage that criminals ̶ backed by the ruling ANC ̶ are even considered to serve in the public office,” says Ian Cameron, Spokesperson for Action Society.
Action Society’s call comes after reports that Donson is a convicted rapist. He was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault while employed as Kannaland’s mayor in 2008. The conviction was for raping a 15-year-old in 2004. Donson was initially sentenced to five years in prison. The case was appealed to the Western Cape High Court. His conviction was not overturned, but his sentence was reduced to a wholly suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a R20 000 fine and a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders. In 2008 he was re-elected to the council.
“The government cannot say that it is fighting gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa whilst employing rapists”, Cameron continues. He adds: “Action Society believes that the only way to start curbing the scourge of GBV in our country is if the justice system clamps down on perpetrators and they get punished swiftly and harshly. The total opposite is currently happening. It seems like convicted rapists are being rewarded for their behaviour.”
Action Society is of the view that the electoral system is failing to keep criminals out of public service. With the government’s track record on crime and fraud, they should revise their policies to allow fair discrimination against individuals who have criminal offences related to schedule 8 offences. These perpetrators should not serve the public or be allowed to be voted in as they lost that right when they defrauded public funds or committed rape.
“One of the highest paying jobs in the local municipality is filled by a child rapist and the other by a fraudster. This seems like a plot for a badly written movie script. We shall rape the children and plunder the taxes seems to be a fitting slogan for the newly elected crew in the Kannaland district. The government under ANC leadership is failing to protect the citizens of South Africa and is infringing on their constitutional rights,” concludes Cameron.