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DA fears ’cover up’ of Fransman case

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The DA in the Western Cape legislature has hinted at possible procedural irregularities or even a “cover-up” in the sexual harassment case against ANC leader Marius Fransman.

The DA’s chief whip in the legislature, Mark Wiley, said that, despite repeated enquiries to at least six senior police officers in the North West and the Northern Cape, the registrar in the legislature could not get confirmation about the investigating officer, the docket number, or the case number in the case against Fransman.

“All of these aspects are requirements for a successful investigation.”

Fransman is accused of sexually harassing a 20-year-old woman, while they were travelling to the ANC’s 104th birthday celebrations in the North West last month.

Fransman has vehemently denied the allegation.

The ANC’s national leadership this week asked him to “step aside” from his provincial leadership of the ANC, pending the outcome of the police investigation into the claim.

North West police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi stressed that the matter, like any other, was being investigated.

Hlathi said the police would ensure a thorough investigation of all reported cases with the aim of presenting the outcome of such investigations before court.

“The (police) will not subject any individual to investigation and trial through the media,” he added.

Wiley explained that after allegations surfaced against Fransman, he wrote to the registrar, who is tasked with probing members’ conduct in the legislature, to find out if, in fact, an investigation was under way into Fransman’s alleged conduct.

“It is now three weeks later and there is still no trace of a case number,” he said.

The party has asked provincial legislature Speaker Sharna Fernandez to address the issue with the acting national police commissioner, Kgomotso Phahlane.

Wiley said that the complainant in the Fransman case deserved to have her complaint attended to properly.

“Too many reported crimes are being dropped from court rolls following shoddy and incomplete investigations… Fransman has a bad track record of sidestepping allegations of misconduct… he uses every trick in the book to duck accountability.”

ANC chief whip Pierre Uys said Wiley’s actions were inappropriate, since he had no power to ask the registrar to investigate.

“He should have taken the matter to the conduct committee of the provincial legislature for a decision if an investigation is needed by the registrar,” Uys said.

Uys said it was clear that Wiley had a political motive.

But Wiley stressed that it was not a case of targeting Fransman. “All members are subject to the code of conduct and the registrar is clearly mandated to investigate, even press comment, which may reflect on the behaviour of members.”

Meanwhile, the ANC’s provincial executive committee was expected to meet for the first time on day following the ANC national executive’s intervention in the province.

[Source: IOL]


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