Following the re-election of a convicted child rapist as mayor of Kannaland in the Western Cape, opposition parties have rallied to force his immediate sacking.
Jeffrey Donson – who was convicted of the statutory rape and indecent assault of a 15-year-old girl while employed as Kannaland’s mayor in 2008 – also has Werner Meshoa – who was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice during his tenure as speaker on the Kannaland council – as his deputy.
Action Society has called for the removal of the pair as a matter of urgency.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Action Society insisted that the constituents of the Kannaland municipality should be informed about the track record of their newly re-elected mayor.
“Matlosana residents 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,” they charged.
“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 said that Donson must be removed as mayor as 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,” they said.
Ian Cameron, Spokesperson for Action Society, said that the appointment is an “outrage”.
Donson was initially sentenced to five years in prison, and 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.
“The government cannot say that it is fighting gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa whilst employing rapists”, Cameron said.
“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.”
In no uncertain terms, Action Society condemned the appointment as “the plot for a badly written movie script”.
“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. We shall rape the children and plunder the taxes seems to be a fitting slogan for the newly elected crew in the Matlosana region,” said Cameron.
“The government under ANC leadership is failing to protect the citizens of South Africa and is infringing on their constitutional rights.”