Western Cape ANC chairperson Marius Fransman called for party unity and an end to public fighting on Wednesday, for the sake of the people of the province, he said.
Fransman said on Wednesday that he was pleased that a controversial series of statements had at least cleared up that he was not on suspension.
“The ugly public spats must end, for the people of the Western Cape; and the branches and the regions and all the structures deserve better, deserve to be served by a united ANC,” he said.
This comes after a sexual harassment charge was laid by his former personal assistant Louisa Wynand who had travelled with him to Rustenburg in the North West for the ANC’s birthday celebrations in January. Fransman denies the charge and Wynand denies that it was a set-up.
Fransman agreed to step aside until the matter was resolved, with the question of whether he was suspended or not lingering.
His deputy Khaya Magaxa stepped in as acting chairperson and the ANC’s national working committee also sent Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Sue van der Merwe down to the province to help it sort out its problems.
Call for humility and renewal
In spite of this, the party made a poor showing in the August 3 local government elections – even with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s last-minute campaigning.
At a commemoration of the formation of the United Democratic Front at the weekend officials called for humility and renewal from branch level up.
Party officials also met at the weekend to talk about its losses in the province and how to go about rebuilding the branches.
On Monday provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs and Lionel Adendorf issued a statement saying that at the meeting, one of the decisions made was that the Fransman case must be expedited and he must be suspended pending its conclusion.
On Tuesday Jabu Mfusi, spokesperson for the provincial executive committee, said Jacobs and Adendorf had not followed procedure by issuing that statement, suggesting that provincial spokesperson Yonela Diko had been forced to issue it. Diko denied this.
Mfusi apologised to Fransman and his family and slammed Jacobs and Adendorf, hinting that they might face disciplinary action.
Mfusi out of line
“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,” he said.
Then on Tuesday night Letsatsi-Duba said the statement issued in Jacobs’ name was the official one and was “factually correct”. It was Mfusi who was out of line for the statement he sent.
Diko in turn told News24 on Wednesday that Jacobs, not Mfusi, is allowed to make statements.
But Mfusi saw things differently, and on hearing this said that Letsatsi-Duba was from Limpopo and was not abreast of Western Cape matters.
Spokesperson for the national office Zizi Kodwa said it was up to the province to speak on matters that affected them, not the national office.
Reporting by Jenni Evans[Source: News24]