Convicted child rapist as mayor a slap in voters' faces - Gender commission

The Commission for Gender Equality said promoting a convicted child rapist to mayor is a slap in the face of voters and all gender-based violence survivors.

ICOSA councillor Hyrin Ruiters congratulates Jeffrey Donson with his election as Kannaland mayor with Werner Meshoa in attendance. Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Commission for Gender Equality said promoting a convicted child rapist to mayor is a slap in the face of voters and all gender-based violence survivors.

This after Icosa councillors teamed up with the ANC in the Western Cape's Kannaland to vote convicted child rapist Jeffrey Donson back into power.

Back in 2004 Donson, the then Kannaland mayor and married father of three repeatedly raped a child. He was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault of a 15-year-old while mayor in Kannaland in 2008.

The courts gave Donson a reduced sentence and today the Icosa party leader is again holding the very title he was stripped of.

The Commission's Javu Baloyi said this came as a shock to every survivor of gender-based violence.

"Do you think women will come forward? Do you think a boy child will come forward? Do you think a girl child will come forward? No. We are sending a very bad message," Baloyi said.

Under the current electoral code, convicted offenders can run for office if their sentence was small enough, but Baloyi said sometimes there are criminals who should simply not be afforded this opportunity.

"Any person convicted of gender-based violence should not be allowed to stand for any position whatsoever. We need to have a vetting mechanism."