The Commission for Gender Equality says it will continue its investigation into how convicted rapist Jeffrey Donson and convicted fraudster Werner Meshoa were elected as mayor and deputy mayor of Kannaland – despite a motion of no confidence being passed against the two last week.
Donson, who was convicted of statutory rape in 2008, was controversially re-elected to the role of Mayor, following the November municipal elections held across the country.
Meshoa was also re-elected to the Kannaland council as deputy mayor despite being found guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice in January last year.
Both were subsequently axed months later in a council led decision following uproar over their election to the two positions.
CGE spokesperson, Javu Baloyi, said the commission would be forging ahead with its investigation.
“We aim for our investigation to contribute towards greater clarity on similar cases currently being handled by various [municipal] councils throughout the country, including the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) with regard to how to address issues of electoral candidates with convictions and/or facing allegations of gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual offences, going forward,” Baloyi said.
He added that Donson and Meshoa’s re-election are an indication that more thorough checks must be done on candidates wanting to occupy public office.
“The case of Jeffrey Donson has highlighted the importance of proper background checks and risk assessments for candidates standing for public office prior to their names being formally confirmed as candidates for elections.
“The Commission’s findings and recommendations will be shared with interested parties once the investigation has been completed,” he said.
Source: South African Government News Agency