“It is an outrage that anyone can vote for and support a known child rapist to be mayor,” said Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society.
In January, Action Society welcomed the removal of Jeffrey Donson as Kannaland’s mayor after the council tabled a motion of no confidence against the convicted child rapist. Donson, however, still held a position as ward councillor representing the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA) party in the Kannaland municipality. 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.
“Donson should never have been considered in the position of mayor,” said Cameron. “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.
“We believe that the only way to start curbing the scourge of GBVF in our country is if the justice system clamps down on perpetrators and they get punished swiftly and harshly. But, unfortunately, the total opposite is currently happening. It seems like convicted rapists are being rewarded for their behaviour.”
Donson became mayor again after the Kannaland Municipality passed a vote of no confidence against its mayor, deputy mayor and municipal manager. Werner Meshoa – also ousted in January for fraud – was re-appointed as deputy mayor.
“This is unacceptable, and we will be taking action to have them removed from their positions of power,” said Cameron.