Convicted child rapist Jeffrey Donson has been suspended from his position as Mayor of the Kannaland Municipality in a decision made by his own party, the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa), of which he is also the president. Action Society has placed a great deal of pressure on Icosa and the local municipality to remove Donson, and we stand by our mantra of no perpetrators in power. Removing Donson should send a strong message to all government officials with a criminal history.
“An example should be made of any sexual offenders in public office. First of all, they should never be placed in any position of power, and those who have been charged must all be removed and exposed. Our next step would be to get Donson added to the National Register for Sex Offenders to ensure he is never given any political power whatsoever,” said Director of Community at Action Society Ian Cameron.
Icosa broke the news on Thursday morning in a statement calling for the immediate removal of Donson and his son Vlancio Donson from the party. “The two have been given 48 hours to respond to their suspensions, after which, the Disciplinary Committee will set a date for a hearing and decide the outcome at a later date,” read the statement.
In 2008, while employed as Kannaland’s mayor, Donson was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault of a 15-year-old girl in 2004, and he was removed from the position. However Donson became mayor again in 2021 after the Kannaland Municipality passed a vote of no confidence against its then mayor, deputy mayor and municipal manager, Werner Meshoa.
“Action Society feels strongly that no government official with a conviction for child rape, or any criminal record for that matter, should serve in public office. The government cannot say it fights gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in South Africa whilst employing rapists,” concluded Cameron.