Commission for Gender Equality investigates re-election of Kannaland mayor Donson, a convicted rapist

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ICOSA councillor Hyrin Ruiters congratulates convicted child rapist Jeffrey Donson with his election as Kannaland mayor, with his deputy, convicted fraudster Werner Meshoa also in attendance.
ICOSA councillor Hyrin Ruiters congratulates convicted child rapist Jeffrey Donson with his election as Kannaland mayor, with his deputy, convicted fraudster Werner Meshoa also in attendance.
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  • The CGE is investigating the re-election of Jeffery Donson, who was convicted of raping a teenage girl in 2008.
  • It says Donson's re-election is a slap in the face of the fight against GBV and rape.
  • The CGE says it will publish its findings.

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has launched an investigation into the re-election of Kannaland mayor, Jeffrey Donson, who was in 2008 convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl.

In a statement on Saturday, the commission said it viewed Donson's re-election as a slap in the face of efforts to stop the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV). 

"The CGE believes that local government institutions should be at the forefront of the campaigns against GBV, as they are closest to people. The CGE is concerned about the high number of girls under the age of 16 who fall pregnant every year in South Africa.

"The commission has met with government and other stakeholders this year, to discuss corrective policies and actions to address the statutory rape crisis in the country, and the high learner pregnancy statistics in schools," said the CGE.

READ | Convicted child rapist re-elected Kannaland's mayor, with convicted fraudster as his deputy

Donson is a member of the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa) and, backed by the ANC, was elected along with deputy mayor Werner Meshoa on Tuesday. 

In 2008, Donson was found guilty of statutory rape by the regional court in Oudtshoorn. The rape of a teenage girl occurred in 2004.

Donson was initially sentenced to five years in prison. He appealed to the Western Cape High Court and his sentence was reduced to a wholly suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a R20 000 fine, and a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.

Later in 2008,  Donson was back in the Kannaland municipal council.

READ | Kannaland deputy mayor was fired as teacher after being found guilty of sexual misconduct with pupil

Former teacher Meshoa, also a member of Icosa, was found guilty of sexual assault and the statutory rape of a pupil, and was fired by the Western Cape education department in 2012.

Earlier this year, Meshoa, while speaker of the Kannaland council, was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice.

The commission will make a public statement once it has completed its investigation.

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