Convicted Rapist, Fraudster Elected Mayor & Deputy Mayor In South Africa (Pix)

A municipality in South Africa has shocked the nation by electing a convicted child rapist as its mayor and a convicted fraudster as its deputy mayor.

Jeffrey Donson was found guilty of statutory rape and indecent assault and jailed while mayor of the Western Cape’s Kannaland Municipality in 2008 but has been re-elected back into office.

Werner Meshoa was elected as deputy mayor despite being convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice during a spell as speaker.

The election of both to high office has caused a storm of outrage across South Africa from gender-based violence groups to charities working with child rape victims.

Mayor Donson was handed just five years behind bars for rape but appealed to the Western Cape High Court where his conviction was not overturned but his sentence reduced.

For the sex attack of a minor, Judge Lee Bozalek wholly suspended the prison term and instead fined him £1,000 and put him on a sex offenders rehab programme.

The two men now run the municipality on the Garden Route in Western Province after being voted in by 45 per cent of the 25,000 electorate.

The African National Congress who received 21 per cent of the vote backed the pair by agreeing a coalition with their party, The Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA).

In June Meshoa was sentenced for fraud to 18 months jail or a £300 fine and a suspended four-year prison sentence for obstructing justice and 36 months house arrest.

It was later revealed that Meshoa was sacked from his position as a teacher in 2012 for serious sexual misconduct with a pupil but the matter was not reported to the police.

Their convictions for child rape and fraud were public knowledge but the electorate still voted them into office with the African National Congress backing their election.

Despite the seriousness of the offences committed by both men, ICOSA chiefs refused to boot them out, saying they could only be forced out if they served a year in prison.They then ran in the Kannaland local elections this month and the men were reelected.

ICOSA now governs the municipality with the ANC. Respected South African news outlet News24’s Out of Order Index says Kannaland is the second worst-performing municipality in the Western Cape.

Kannaland’s ANC speaker Nicolaas Valentyn nevertheless slammed News24 for revealing the Mayor and his Deputy are convicted criminals as an ‘insult to voters’.

He said: ‘The successful inaugural meeting was met with an almost gleeful News24 shriek that so-called unfit individuals had been elected as Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

‘ICOSA will never be diverted by clickbait headlines of lazy rants by gossips arrogating as journalists and individual faults and frailties are no reason to give in’ he said.

Action Society, a pressure group lobbying against gender-based violence, called for the new Mayor Donson and Deputy Mayor Meshoa to be removed from office immediately.

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