Embattled Western Cape ANC chairman Marius Fransman caused a stir when he unexpectedly arrived for a standing committee meeting on Premier Helen Zille’s department in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.
Fransman’s surprise appearance follows the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority in the North West not to prosecute him for sexual harassment.
Louisa Wynand, 21, from Stellenbosch laid a charge against Fransman after travelling with him in his car to the ANC’s birthday celebrations in Rustenburg in January.
Wynand claimed the ANC leader touched her inappropriately during the car ride, and allegedly forced her to share a room with him.
An angry Wynand said she was puzzled by the NPA’s decision not to prosecute him because of a lack of evidence, saying she was “confused as to why they say there is not enough evidence”.
Fransman said he was not officially back at work, but sat in the committee meeting because serious issues of community upliftment were being discussed.
“Khaya Magaxa is still the leader of the opposition in the legislature. I am not back,” he added.
Fransman said the past few months were challenging.
“This ordeal was a challenge of fact against fiction. The way I was judged without any proof or evidence is shocking. The allegations against me moved from an alleged rape case to an assault and eventually harassment, with the storyline consistently changing.”
Fransman maintains the saga was a political attack against him.
“I never believed that comrades would go out and manufacture affidavits from different people.
“In the past five months there were four people who came forward informing me that they were asked to manufacture affidavits,” he said.
He said it was imperative that the ANC in the province started to get its house in order.
“I was asked to step aside and that is still the case. The reason this issue was referred to the party’s Integrity Commission in the beginning was because of this case against me, and now that the case is over I will wait for the ANC to give direction,” he said.
Taking a swipe at other party members who were suspended by the party in recent months, Fransman said he would not do “what others did by running back to office”.
“I will wait for the ANC to thoroughly probe and pronounce on the matter,” he said.
Fransman said for now he would take stock of the effect that the ordeal had had on his family, and the organisation.
“The ANC in the Western Cape has always had challenges with unity and divisions.
“The path to people’s power was a strategy, and if you attack the leadership of that strategy you are weakening the organisation.
“This is what happened here.”
Fransman said he would not rule out legal action of his own, adding his legal team was still assessing the situation.
“My legal team are reflecting on the case. What happened, how it happened and the players and actors involved, and then we will respond accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the DA has requested that the NPA make public the record of decision regarding its decision not to prosecute Fransman for sexual harassment.
The party said failure to do so will result in them submitting an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to compel the NPA to reveal the record of the decision to ascertain what was lacking in evidence.[Source: Cape Argus]