DA councillor faces probe after leniency appeal for gangster

2015-06-05 14:17
The letter from Councillor Willie Jaftha to the court. (Supplied)

The letter from Councillor Willie Jaftha to the court. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The Speaker of the City of Cape Town is investigating a letter sent by an official appealing for leniency in the sentencing of a gangster convicted along with one of the biggest gang bosses on the Cape Flats.

Belhar DA ward councillor Willie Jaftha submitted the letter appealing for a lighter sentence for Reyaaz Dennis, a member of the 28s gang, who was found guilty with gang boss George “Geweld” Thomas and 15 others on charges ranging from murder to racketeering.

In a letter sent on an official City of Cape Town letterhead, Jaftha confirmed that Dennis lived in Belhar and that he had “never received any complaints from the community about him”.

“He used to attend school with my children and he is a respectful citizen in the ward,” he wrote.

Jaftha told News24 on Friday that he has been issued with a letter from the Speaker’s office informing him that he is to appear before a disciplinary committee later this month.

“I will comment on this once those proceedings have been completed,” he said.

'Shocking'

During the sentencing proceedings in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, Judge Chantel Fortuin said while various letters asking for leniency were received during mitigation proceedings, she found the ward councillor’s submission of particular interest.

“The court finds it absolutely shocking that an elected councillor, who must carry forth the good norms and values of our community and must see to it that our streets are free of crime, that such an elected person offers a good word for a person who is found guilty of serious crimes, including murder. The court finds it necessary to remind this councillor of his duty.”

Dennis received a sentence of 62 years.

ANC Western Cape community safety spokesperson in the legislature Pat Lekker said it was unheard of for a public representative to plead for mitigation of punishment in the high court.

She demanded that Jaftha be fired or the ANC would proceed with steps to have him removed from public office.

“Children’s lives are destroyed by these gangsters,” she said.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith was not immediately available for comment.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cape town  |  crime  |  local government  |  gang violence

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