- A probe is underway into ICOSA president Jeffrey Donson's re-election as Kannaland mayor
- Donson and his deputy, Werner Meshoa, were sworn in last week with the support of the ANC in the Western Cape
- Donson was convicted of the statutory rape of a minor while he was the Kannaland mayor in 2008
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KANNALAND - The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has launched a probe into Jeffrey Donson a week into his re-election as mayor of the Kannaland Local Municipality in the Western Cape.
Donson, who is the president of the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA), was controversially re-instated into office on Tuesday last week.
Briefly News previously reported that Donson and his deputy, Werner Meshoa, who has a fraud conviction, received support from the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of landing mayoral seats.
Donson is a convicted rapist, having been convicted of statutory rape while he was the mayor in 2008, following a sexual assault of a 15-year-old in 2004.
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Massive outcry to re-appointment
There has since been a huge outcry against Donson's re-election to the position, with the CGE, whose work is to advance, promote, and protect Gender Equality in South Africa, committed to opposing the move.
"The CGE is concerned about the high number of girls under 16 who fall pregnant yearly in the country," read a statement by the commission.
"We've had discussion with stakeholders, including the government, to discuss policies to address the scourge of statutory rape, and the soaring rate of teenage pregnancies."
While Donson successfully appealed to the High Court in the Western Cape to have his sentence reduced, the rape conviction against him was not overturned.
"We see the happenings in Kannaland as a slap in the face of the fight against gender-based violence (GBV). We plan to engage all relevant parties in this matter," the statement continued.
"The CGE believes that local government institutions should be at the forefront of the campaigns against GBV, as they are closest to people. After completing a probe into the matter, the commission will release a public statement."
Kannaland controversially re-elects convicted child sex offender
As previously reported by Briefly News, the Kannaland Local Municipal council renewed Donson's term as mayor last week.
His conviction in 2008, including that of indecent assault, came after he raped a 15-year-old child in 2004, for which he was sentenced to only five years in prison.
The Western Cape High Court declined to overturn his conviction after Donson reportedly filed an appeal.
However, his sentence was reduced to a wholly suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a fine of R20 000 fine, and enrolment in a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.
Following his whirlwind legal woes, Donson was re-elected to the Kannaland council in 2008.
In the case of his deputy, Meshoa was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice earlier this year while he was the speaker of the Kannaland council, according to GroundUp.