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‘My rights have been violated by Fransman’

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She is taking on Marius Fransman as a person, not as a politician, the woman who accused the Western Cape ANC leader of sexual harassment said on Tuesday.

“This happened to me. My human rights have been violated by that human. It didn’t matter what his profession is – I would still have reported him for what he’s done,” Louisa Wynand told News24.

“This is not a political issue. Who would put themselves through something like this … for fun?”

The 21-year-old accused Fransman of sexual harassment in January for an alleged incident which occurred while they travelled to the North West for the African National Congress’s birthday rally in Rustenburg. The charge has been dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Attempts to contact Fransman on Tuesday failed.

City Press on Sunday reported that the docket read, “On Tuesday, January 5, at about 2.19am, they arrived at the Flamingo Hotel in Kimberley, whereby she was forced to share the bed with the suspect and he would wrap his arms over her and rubbed himself against her, touching her breasts.

“She told him that she does not feel comfortable and he said it would be her challenge to overcome if she wanted to make a success out of her career, and needed to be clinical and cold about it. They then proceeded to Rustenburg.”

Fransman was asked to step aside by the party after the accusations were leveled.

When she met Fransman at her previous workplace at a wine estate and was offered a job as part of a hospitality project he was working on. She jumped at the opportunity to further her career and work in the city, Wynand recalled.

“I thought he would be a brilliant mentor to work for, and then this happens.”

Wynand said she was recently told via a WhatsApp message from the investigating officer that the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute due to insufficient evidence and Fransman would not be charged.

She cried when she heard this, Wynand said, and sat with her dog that licked her tears.

She does not want to speak about the details of what she claimed happened with Fransman.

“I feel nausea every time I have to think about it and recall what happened. This is a chapter I am so ready to be done with.

“I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t know what to do. Did I do anything to make this happen? I was working for him – I couldn’t understand how it got to that point.”

She hasn’t heard from Fransman since that day.

But she did find a source of support in Angie Motshekga, the former ANC Women’s League president and current minister of Basic Education, who contacted her before she made her identity public.

“She is a very lovely lady – so nice. She gave me a lot of advice and lifted my spirits,” Wynand said.

She reiterated there is nothing political about her intentions.

“This is not about getting anyone. This is about standing up for yourself regardless of whether they’re going to believe you or not. At least it’s off my heart and I don’t have to carry this with me.

“I don’t have to be the victim. I don’t have to feel ashamed because of what someone else did to me.”

She said her legal team is deciding what their next move will be while she focuses on herself.

“The way I look at life has changed. I always try to find the silver lining in everything, but I have yet to find the silver lining in this situation.”

[Source: News24]
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