Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba said she had been made aware of a statement issued by the provincial secretary on Monday night, and a subsequent one by the former convenor of the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC) sub-committee on media and communications.
She was assured that the statement issued in the name of secretary Faiez Jacobs was “factually correct and reflected accurately” the decisions of the PEC meeting on Sunday.
Jacobs’s statement said the ANC wanted disciplinary procedures against its Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman to be expedited, and that he be suspended pending the outcome.
“The caretakers should recommend to the NEC that Comrade Marius be suspended until the conclusion of the disciplinary processes,” the statement read.
Fransman had to step aside after he was accused of sexually harassing 21-year-old Louisa Wynand. They were on their way to the party’s January 8 celebrations in Rustenburg at the time.
Fransman has denied the allegations. There have been suggestions that he was set up, which Wynand has denied.
Media protocol bypassed
Divisions in the provincial party were laid bare when a follow-up statement was issued, this time by PEC member Jabu Mfusi.
He said the first statement bypassed internal media protocol.
“The ANC provincial secretary is supposed to be an embodiment of the unity of the ANC. He is supposed to have a high level of discipline, but Faiez Jacobs continues to divide the ANC.”
Letsatsi-Duba said that from the available facts, it became “abundantly clear” that the second statement was not released on instruction of the PEC or the provincial secretary.
It did not reflect the mood or sentiments of the PEC, the provincial working committee or officials, she said.
“I consider this ill-discipline as a serious transgression of the ANC’s communication protocols and will deal with this matter personally as we have made significant strides in building unity in the province.”
She reiterated her confidence in the office of the provincial secretary and the PEC.
Reporting by Jenna Etheridge