Streaming issues? Report here
Temp 702 logo 1000 x 1000 2020 Temp 702 logo 1000 x 1000 2020
Best of 702
00:00 - 06:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Weekend Breakfast with Refiloe Mpakanyane
See full line-up
Best of 702
00:00 - 06:00
Home
arrow_forward
Local

NGO calls for new laws barring rapists and fraudsters from holding public office

25 May 2022 11:23 AM
Tags:
Crime
IEC
Rapist
public office bearers
petition
gbv
convict
convicted rapist
public office
The Embrace Project

Morning Review host Lester Kiewit chats to Lee-Anne Germanos, the co-founder of The Embrace Project.
  • The Embrace Project is calling for new electoral laws blocking rapists and fraudsters from standing for public office
  • Project co-founder Lee-Anne Germanos says abusers and thieves should not be appointed as public representatives
  • Currently, SA law allows convicts to stand for public office five years after having served their respective sentences
  • A petition has been launched to the IEC on Change.org and already has over 12,000 signatures

Icosa councillor Hyrin Ruiters congratulates Jeffrey Donson on his election with Kannaland mayor Werner Meshoa in attendance. Picture: Twitter

The Embrace Project has started a petition calling for the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to introduce new laws that would bar abusers, rapists, and fraudsters from holding public office.

The organisation believes there must be stricter eligibility criteria disqualifying such people from becoming public office bearers.

South Africa's Constitution currently allows convicts to stand for public office five years after having served their respective sentences.

The Embrace Project says the public and the IEC should be empowered to disqualify anyone who has been convicted of or is being investigated for any crimes related to gender-based violence (GBV) and corruption.

Project co-founder Lee-Anne Germanos says this may help restore public confidence in South Africa's government which is struggling to tackle impunity in the country's law enforcement agencies.

In November 2021, a convicted child rapist was elected the Mayor of the Kannaland Municipality in the Western Cape, alongside a convicted fraudster as his deputy.

The Embrace Project wants candidates from party lists submitted to the IEC removed if they have been convicted or investigated for such allegations.

RELATED: Child rapist Jeffrey Donson's loses mayorship but remains on Kannaland Council

Germanos says a zero-tolerance policy is needed as society is rife with GBV and femicide as well as corruption-related crimes such as fraud, money laundering, or theft.

She says reforms are needed because the law cannot remain stagnant in the face of a growing GBV crisis in the country.

"What we are asking for in this amendment to the Electoral Act is to allow the public as well as the chief electoral officer to object to candidates who have been put up by political parties who have been charged with, investigated for, or convicted of GBV and corruption-related crimes."

RELATED: Contralesa wants referendum on death penalty to deal with GBV perpetrators

The petition to the IEC, which has been created on Change.org, has garnered over 12,000 signatures.

It goes beyond a custodial sentence. The problem with the current state of affairs with our legal system is that the Constitution currently allows even persons who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment of 12 months and above... to hold public office... as long as you've served that sentence and it's been five years since.

Lee-Anne Germanos, Co-founder - The Embrace Project

We're calling on the IEC to amend the Electoral Act to actually prohibit or disqualify persons who have been convicted of those particular types of crimes from standing for public office.

Lee-Anne Germanos, Co-founder - The Embrace Project

We've asked for this disqualification to extend not just to convicted persons... but also persons who are being investigated for or charged with any such crimes...

Lee-Anne Germanos, Co-founder - The Embrace Project

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : NGO calls for new laws barring rapists and fraudsters from holding public office




25 May 2022 11:23 AM
Tags:
Crime
IEC
Rapist
public office bearers
petition
gbv
convict
convicted rapist
public office
The Embrace Project

More from Local