Commission for Gender Equality investigates re-election of child rapist as Mayor

Johannesburg – 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.

This comes after Donson, was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2004 and was found guilty of Statutory rape in 2008 by the regional court in Oudtshoorn.

Donson was primarily sentenced to five years in prison.

He then 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.

“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,” the commission said.

In a statement, the CGE raised its concerns about the high number of girls under the age of 16 who fall pregnant every year in South Africa.

The Commission said it has engaged with the government and other stakeholders this year, to discuss corrective policies and actions to address the statutory rape crisis in the country, including high learner pregnancy statistics in schools.

“The Commission views this development in Kannaland as a slap in the face of the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and intends to engage all relevant parties in this matter,” the statement read.

The CGE believes that local government institutions should be at the forefront of the campaigns against GBV, as they are closest to people.

Furthermore, the Commission has confirmed that it will make a public statement once it has completed its probe into the matter.

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