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DA councillor suspended for defending convicted gangster

Willie Jaftha submitted a letter calling for a lenient sentence for convicted murderer Riyaaz Dennis.

An alleged leader of the 28s gang, George Thomas and his 17 co-accused in court on 4 May 2015, they collectively face 166 charges ranging from murder to attempted murder. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Democratic Alliance (DA) councilor has been suspended following an internal investigation after he came out in defence of a convicted gangster.

Councilor Willie Jaftha submitted a letter during argument in mitigation of sentence in the trial of 17 convicted gangsters.

He called for a lenient sentence to be handed down to convicted murderer Reyaaz Dennis.

Jaftha drafted the letter on an official City of Cape Town letterhead, which landed him in trouble with the DA.

The party's Liza Albrecht said a disciplinary hearing will be held soon.

"The party unequivocally distances itself from the letter. We do not condone it at all. We find it completely unacceptable for a public representative to write such a letter in mitigation of a convicted criminal."