DURBAN –The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has launched an investigation into the re-election of Jeffrey Donson as mayor of the Kannaland local municipality in the Western Cape province.
The CGE notes that while Donson appealed to the Western Cape High Court and had his sentence subsequently reduced, the rape conviction was not challenged.
Donson was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2004.
The CGE said it 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,” it said.
The CGE said it viewed development in Kannaland as a slap in the face in the fight against gender-based violence and intends to engage all relevant parties in this matter.
“The CGE believes that local government institutions should be at the forefront of the campaigns against GBV, as they are closest to people. The commission will make a public statement once it has completed its probe into the matter,” the commission said.
Meanwhile, IOL reported that talks were under way to determine whether to proceed with the coalition agreement, as grave concerns had been raised by ANC members and members of the public about the candidates put forward by Icosa in Kannaland.
According to ANC provincial spokesperson, Sifiso Mtsweni, the party’s decision will be announced soon.
Donson has announced that he will not be vacating his seat, despite public outcry and calls for him to step down.