Cape Town – DA MPL Gillion Bosman says Kannaland Mayor Jeffrey Donson’s decision to remain in his seat proves that he has “no respect for his victims or community”.
Donson on Tuesday confirmed to Independent Media that he would not be stepping down following public outrage linked to his 2008 rape conviction.
A coalition government between Independent Civic Organisation of SA (Icosa) and the ANC in the Western Cape resulted in him reclaiming his seat after the local government elections.
The provincial ANC is yet to comment on his decision.
“The ANC are the ones keeping Donson in power. We know that Donson would not have stepped down. He has no respect for his victims or his community.
“Both Donson and the deputy mayor are criminals, only using public office to further their looting. They need these positions to continue filling out their patronage.
“He has not stopped his sexual predatory ways,” Bosman said.
According to Bosman, during the election period Icosa spent a lot of time handing out alcohol to potential voters.
“There was quite a low voter turnout in Kannaland. The handing out of alcohol was one of the things a lot of community members complained about. They received alcohol in exchange for votes.
“It is a concern that the community voted for someone like this to be in power. We have always had concerns about Kannaland under Icosa rule. The staff that are appointed are not qualified for positions,” Bosman said.
Icosa’s provincial chairperson David Kamfer on Tuesday morning slammed the media for creating a negative narrative about Donson.
“The sudden negative media coverage is a well-orchestrated agenda to diminish the good work done by Icosa for the community of Kannaland and to impugn the Constitutional rights of the community to elect public officials of their choice,” he said.
“Icosa refuses to allow the media and the DA to decide who we elect as our leaders as we are the voters choice and it is their right to decide who they want as their community leaders,” he said.
Kamfer further defended Donson by saying that he never had knowledge of the rape victim being underage at the time of the incident which happened in 2004.
He stressed that the life of Donson has always been in the public eye as he “has been a public figure for the past 25 years”. He further emphasised that Donson has never hidden parts of his life from the public. “He was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault in 2008 of a minor who lived as a life partner of a 50- year-old man for some time, and as such, had no knowledge of her age at the time and assumed that she was of legal age.”
“To want to punish him again (while he was already punished), by forcing his removal as executive mayor would be tantamount to double jeopardy, a principle prohibited in terms of our law and democracy,” Kamfer added.
Donson was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault while Kannaland mayor in 2008. His victim was 15-years old. After lodging an appeal in the Western Cape High Court, Donson’s five-year sentence was reduced to a wholly suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a R20 000 fine, and a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.