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Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Cape Town mayor resigns over porn
Cape Town
Cape Town was shocked by the scandal
The mayor of the South African city of Cape Town, William Bantom, has resigned after being caught downloading pornography from the internet for a second time.

I have erred ... and I pray that my fellow Christians and the community will find it in their hearts to forgive me

William Bantom
Reverend Bantom, a minister in the Church of the Nazarene since 1968, has also been expelled from the New National Party, the former ruling party during the apartheid years.

The 54-year-old father of two was asked to resign after being caught watching pornographic sites last week, despite having been given an earlier warning.

Reverend Bantom has headed the Cape Town municipality since the first post-apartheid local government elections in 1995 and was the city's first black mayor.

Forgiveness plea

"I know I have done wrong and I respect the wishes of my party in asking me to resign," he told the South African Press Association.

Reverend William Bantom
Reverend William Bantom: Spurned a second chance
"I have erred, both as a Christian and as a member of my community, and I pray that my fellow Christians and the community will find it in their hearts to forgive me," he said.

Western Cape Premier Gerald Morkel said the mayor had been caught in his office watching downloaded pornographic videos involving children and adults.

Second chance

Mr Morkel said he had first been informed last year that Reverend Bantom had logged on to several pornographic sites.

The council adopted an internet usage policy last year which outlawed accessing of pornography.

"I was deeply shocked and called Bantom in to discuss the issue with him," he said.

"Initially, he said that he required the information for a thesis on which he was working but when I pressed him, he broke down and said it would never happen again."

The mayor was given another chance, but last week was discovered playing pornographic videos in his office, when a staff member turned on his television to watch some cricket.

The Democratic Party's Patrick Hill has taken over as metropolitan mayor of Cape Town until elections scheduled for November.

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20 Sep 99 | Africa
Cape Town: Sun, sea...and sex
15 May 00 | Africa
Boesak in jail
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