Controversial African National Congress Western Cape leader Marius Fransman is not indispensable and the party could run an election campaign without him.
This is according to Western Cape political analyst Professor Keith Gottschalk, who on Tuesday said that although an election year meant all hands were needed on deck, “the ANC in the province would just have to work harder”.
The provincial leader is facing charges of alleged sexual harassment after a 20-year-old woman accused him of “inappropriate touching”. Party officials were due to meet with Fransman on Tuesday afternoon to hear his side of the story.
The Western Cape is the only province that is not run by the ANC, and the party has pledged to work towards changing that.
But this year, the historically divided provincial ANC might have to kick off their local election season without their leaders, with both Fransman and secretary Faiez Jacobs facing serious criminal charges.
Jacobs was placed on precautionary suspension over an incident assault in December at the party’s provincial offices.
‘MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE’
Dismissing the sexual harassment charges against him last week, Fransman said there was more to the “spurious allegations than meets the eye”.
Gottschalk said, like in any big organisation, no one was irreplaceable and as the case could take months, the party might have to go through the 2016 local government elections without Fransman.
“If he is suspended, the rest of the PEC will just have to pull their weight during the election campaign.”
Gottschalk said by suspending Jacobs, the party had left themselves with no other recourse but to do the same to Fransman, who has been accused of a more serious crime.
“While it has not yet proven, they have set a standard that ANC should follow.”
ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa last week told News24 that they reaffirmed ANC gender policy with regards to respect for women’s rights and said the law would take its course. News24