Having a convicted child rapist heading up one of its coalition municipal councils has apparently forced the The Western Cape ANC to make a double take on their decision to support the coalition.
The Kannaland municipal council was inaugurated in Ladismith on Tuesday, and consists of seven representatives from the Democratic Alliance [DA], African National Congress [ANC], Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa [ICOSA] and Kannaland Independent Party [KIP].
The mayor Jeffrey Donson and his deputy Werner Meshoe, both from ICOSA, however, caused quite a stir when their criminal pasts were revealed.
According to the Daily Maverick, Donson was convicted on one count of indecent assault and seven counts of statutory rape in 2008, after he apparently entered into a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girlduring his previous stint as mayor of Kannaland.
He had appealed his sentence, but this was rejected and his sentence was reduced to a suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a R20,000 fine, and a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.
Meshoa is also no angel, as he was previously convicted of fraud, and defeating the ends of justice after he submitted false travel claims of over R4000 for a trip to Cape Town in 2016.
He also tried to cover up his fraudulent activity by convincing friends and relatives to submit false affidavits backing his claims.
He was sentenced to a fine of R6,000 or 18 months’ imprisonment for fraud plus four years’ imprisonment both suspended for five years and 36 months correctional supervision (house arrest) for defeating the ends of justice.
Now the ANC in the province appears to have been swayed in their willingness to work with the criminal pair.
News24 reports that The ANC in the Western Cape will review its decision to form a coalition with Icosa, after the Commission for Gender Equality has also launched an investigation into the election of the two officials.
ANC Western Cape spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni told News24 that they could not ignore the reputational risk associated with the pair’s election.
“The ANC’s extended interim provincial committee (IPC) took note of the grave concerns raised about the Kannaland municipality.
“…coalitions should be based on ensuring the stability of municipalities, good governance, a tough stance against corruption, strict adherence to the rule of law, and the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. This includes our fight against all forms of gender-based violence,” Mtsweni said.
“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.
“The ANC stands opposed to any form of gender-based violence and corruption. We must at all times act in the best interest of our principles.”