September 12, 2000 10:19am
South Africa Mayor Quits in Scandal
(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) -- The mayor of Cape Town's metropolitan council resigned Tuesday after he was caught downloading pornography from the Internet and watching pornographic videos in his office.
William Bantom, an ordained minister, was asked to quit after he was caught last week dabbling with pornography for a second time despite an earlier warning, provincial premier Gerald Morkel said.
Bantom is mayor of the metropolitan council, the organization that coordinates services throughout the city's seven districts.
At least one of the Internet sites Bantom was caught viewing involved children and adults having sex.
Morkel said he had first been informed last year that Bantom had logged on to a number of pornographic sites.
``I was deeply shocked and called Bantom in to discuss the issue with him,'' Morkel 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.''
Bantom was given another chance, but at the end of last week he was discovered playing adult pornographic videos in his office when a staff member turned on his television to watch cricket.
Bantom, 54, said he had let his colleagues, friends and family down, and thought it fit to resign.
``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 told the South African Press Association.