ICOSA president Jeffrey Donson.
ICOSA president Jeffrey Donson.

Election of Kannaland’s mayor, a convicted child rapist contradicts government’s GBV fight

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Nov 18, 2021

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Cape Town - The election of Kannaland municipality’s mayor Jeffrey Donson goes against the government’s calls to fight gender-based violence.

This was a call made by Action Society spokesperson Ian Cameron today after it emerged Donson had been elected to the position.

Donson, who was convicted of the rape of a minor, is a member of the Independent Civic Organisation of SA (ICOSA) political party. He has reclaimed his title following a coalition government in the municipality.

He 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.

His deputy mayor, Werner Meshoa, was convicted of fraud.

Action Society spokesperson Ian Cameron has also called for the removal of both individuals.

“He (Donson) is a dignity thief of not only his 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. It is an outrage that criminals, backed by the ruling ANC, are even considered to serve in public office,” Cameron said.

He further argued that government could not say that it is fighting gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa while employing people convicted of rape.

“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.”

He added that the electoral system is failing to keep criminals out of public service.

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