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ANC pulls out of Kannaland coalition

The ANC has been under pressure to distance itself from Icosa. File photo.
The ANC has been under pressure to distance itself from Icosa. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The ANC has pulled out of its coalition agreement with the Independent Civic Organisation of SA (Icosa) in Kannaland, Western Cape, and will instead occupy the opposition benches in the municipality.

The party has been under pressure to distance itself from Icosa, which is led by Jeffrey Donson, a convicted rapist. Donson was elected Kannaland mayor with the support of the ANC after this year’s local government elections but an uproar followed his re-election, due to his conviction for rape.

“We have mandated the negotiating team to process the decision of the provincial leadership to withdraw from the coalition,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni on Wednesday.

“Yesterday the provincial co-ordinator [Ronalda Nalumango] visited Kannaland to affect this decision. The ANC's speaker of the municipality is being withdrawn and we will assume opposition in the municipality,” said Mtsweni.

Approached for comment about the ANC's withdrawal, Donson pleaded ignorance and texted: “I don't know about that”.

The ANC in the Western Cape announced 10 days ago that it wanted to review its coalition agreement in Kannaland saying discussions and agreements on coalitions should be based on its set principles of ensuring stability of municipalities, good governance, a tough stance against corruption, strict adherence to the rule of law as well as the creation of a non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

“This includes our fight against all forms of gender-based violence,” the party said at the time.

It said while it could not impose candidates on negotiating partners, it could not ignore the reputational risk associated with what had transpired in Kannaland.

“While we respect and uphold the democratic wishes of the people of Kannaland who have on successive occasions chose to elect Icosa as the majority party, the extended interim provincial committee (IPC) IPC resolved to mandate the negotiating team to review the coalition agreement.

“The ANC stands opposed to any form of gender-based violence and corruption.”

Donson was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault while mayor in 2008. On appeal, his five-year sentence was suspended and he was fined R20,000.

He was elected with his colleague Werner Meshoa, also from Icosa, as deputy mayor.

Meshoa himself was convicted for fraud while he was the speaker of Kannaland and sentenced to 18 months in prison or a R6,000 fine.

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