Kannaland Mayor, Jeffrey Donson is expected to make an announcement on his political future on Monday, after ongoing enquiries about his 2008 conviction on statutory rape.
“Recent and ongoing media enquiries about my 2008 conviction on statutory rape and indecent assault have greatly startled and disrupted my family and me. Although the event is years old, it haunts me still and mortal wounds are bleeding again,” said Donson.
“I had indicated that I would be reflecting and applying my mind, and I have determined that I will spend the weekend with my family to consider and decide the future. I will respond on Monday,” said Donson.
On Saturday, the ANC said it had decided to review its coalition with the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa) because its mayor in Kannaland was convicted of rape.
Donson was elected mayor of Kannaland municipality this week and this is one of the hung municipalities the ANC has forged coalitions in the Western Cape.
But NGOs and gender groups were up in arms, calling for him to resign.
The ANC was facing mounting pressure to cut ties with Donson.
The ANC in the Western Cape said yesterday it had a special meeting to discuss the matter and other issues related to its coalition.
However, it would not support any form of gender-based violence.
“Amongst the reports received, was the coalition agreement reached with the Independent Civics Organisation of South Africa which led to the constitution of various municipalities,” said ANC spokesperson in the Western Cape Sifiso Mtsweni.
“The extended IPC (interim provincial committee) has taken note of the grave concerns raised about the Kannaland Municipality,” Mtsweni said.
“The ANC reiterates it’s position that discussions and agreements on coalitions should be based on our set principles of ensuring stability of municipalities, good governance, tough stance against corruption, strict adherence to the rule of law as well as the creation of a non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society. This includes our fight against all forms of gender based violence.”
University of the Western Cape political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu said this would have reputational damage for the ANC if it kept its coalition partner with a mayor with a cloud hanging over his head.
“It’s very concerning even though the step aside rule applies to ANC members. If you form a coalition with someone tainted you are equally tainted,” said Mngomezulu.
Mtsweni said the IPC had a meeting to discuss the matter saying that the ruling party “should uphold its integrity at all material times in line with the era of renewal and rebuilding”.
“While the nature and character of coalition discussions do not include the imposing of candidates on negotiating partners, the ANC cannot ignore the reputational risk associated with what has transpired in Kannaland Municipality,” said Mtsweni.
“While we respect and uphold the democratic wishes of the people of Kannaland who have on successive occasions chosen to elect Icosa as the majority party, the extended IPC resolved to mandate the negotiating team to review the coalition agreement in Kannaland Municipality,” Mtsweni continued.
“The ANC stands opposed to any form of gender based violence and corruption and we must at all times act in the best interest of our principles.”