Fransman to face Mantashe, Ginwala in court battle

Cape Town – Marius Fransman is up against Gwede Mantashe and Frene Ginwala in the Western Cape High Court, as a “last resort” in his struggle to regain his position of ANC Western Cape leader, his instructing attorney said on Tuesday.

He sought a declaratory order relating to his position in the province and to the ANC’s integrity committee report, his attorney Ashley Meyer told News24 on Tuesday.

He said the matter was set to be heard in court on Wednesday.

The respondents in the application are ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and the integrity committee deputy chair Frene Ginwala. It is not the ANC, stressed Meyer.

Meyer said they wanted the court to find that the ANC’s refusal to allow him to take up his position in the province contravened the ruling party’s constitution.

“He has not been suspended. There is no formal letter of suspension. He is being curtailed and cannot participate in campaigning,” he said.

Mantashe had ordered that Fransman not be deployed to campaign pending disciplinary processes.

“Also, very importantly, we want Mr Fransman to be provided with a copy of the integrity committee report.”

Meyer said the integrity committee rules explicitly provide that its reports be sent to both Mantashe and the member in question. 

Communication with Mantashe and the committee had been fruitless, he claimed.

“Mr Fransman has a right to know what is going on, and not through the media. The secretary general was provided with a copy. Despite numerous requests, the goalposts keep on shifting.”

The matter came before the high court on Monday night. The court decided that urgent interim relief would not be granted and that opposing papers should be filed, said Meyer.

“The court was of the opinion that the matter should be ventilated tomorrow [Wednesday].”

Confusion about Fransman's position

Fransman's position has been the source of much confusion after the ANC’s head of elections, Nomvula Mokonyane, said on Thursday that he was back in his job as the party’s provincial leader.

Mantashe said on Monday that Fransman had not been reinstated. He said Mokonyane had been under pressure when she made the announcement.

Fransman has been the subject of disciplinary proceedings after he was accused of sexually harassing 21-year-old Louisa Wynand while they were travelling to the party's January 8 celebrations in Rustenburg.

The sexual harassment case against Fransman was sent to the Northern Cape's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), after the DPP in North West decided not to proceed with the case, due to insufficient evidence.

The Northern Cape DPP had some queries and had sent the docket back to the investigating officer.

Meyer said Fransman voluntarily stepped aside while the DPP investigated the matter and wished to resume his position after hearing the case would not proceed.

Mantashe told News24 on Monday “Marius was asked to step aside after a national working committee meeting, so now the integrity commission has completed its work, it has recommended the case be given to the disciplinary committee. He hasn't appeared before the committee yet. Until then, he can't return to his position.”

 

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