A year in the life of Marius Fransman

2016-12-27 07:05
Marius Fransman (File, Netwerk24)

Marius Fransman (File, Netwerk24)

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WATCH: Fransman's confidant accuses Louisa Wynand of being a 'professional liar'

2016-11-24 14:33

Mogamat Majiet has disputed accusations that Fransman sexually assaulted Louisa Wynand. WATCH

Cape Town – Barely 10 days into 2016, Marius Fransman was accused of sexually harassing a 21-year-old young woman from Stellenbosch.

Since then, the suspended ANC Western Cape leader has been painstakingly working to convince not only his party, but also his loyal followers of his innocence.

Fransman has been on the offensive working to discredit Louisa Wynand.

Weeks after Wynand laid a complaint of sexual harassment with police, the ANC's integrity commission asked Fransman to step down while the investigation got underway.

She accused him of sexually harassing her during a road trip to the ANC's birthday celebrations in Rustenburg.

While the North West Police later dropped the charges, Fransman did not survive the ANC's disciplinary process despite publicly rejecting it and boycotting the hearings, citing procedural irregularities.

Suspension

In November, after months of inquiries and his accuser speaking out about the harassment, he was suspended from his political home for five years.

And in December, he suffered yet another blow when his urgent application to access documents attached to the ANC’s integrity commission report on him failed.

But it’s all politics, according to a defiant Fransman.

He told News24 that there had been several attacks on him over the years.

"Every accusation stings, as we are ordinary people, husband and wife, and children, with circumstances deviated from that of an ordinary couple and family because of my political leadership and service.

"My family and I have learned that strength found in the bonds of blood can overcome any and all injustice."

The "injustice", Fransman said, was a blessing in a way.

"It allowed me the time and the freedom to connect with the indigenous people of the Cape and to take up the battles of the Khoi and the San."

Fransman and his supporters have since been campaigning for his suspension to be lifted, with Cosas, religious leaders and some ANC members throwing their weight behind him.

Grateful for support

At a recent a three hour-long press conference at a city centre hotel, Fransman called the accusation and eventually his suspension a political assassination.

This was all a carefully orchestrated R10m plan to take him down, he claimed. 

He said his ousting had been backed by a R10m donation from a businessman he would not name yet.

Fransman said he would not be giving up without a fight. 

"When I realised the pure political dynamic of the attack, and the ideological assault, I made peace with the obligation to fight," he told News24. 

The worst part about the "ordeal", he said, was not being afforded the basic right to be heard.

"Not being allowed access to information critical to prepare to be heard; being violated by comrades who certainly know better than to demean and injure."

But the bright side was the support he had received, he said.

"And yet, the privilege to have found the strength from family and friends and comrades to remain standing, and not to fall, outranks the injustice perpetrated against me.

"I was humbled by the warmth of the religious sector, of ordinary members of communities, of members of NGOs, across party political lines who helped me to appreciate the impact of the age of madness, and who calmed me, and who held my hand for the bigger fight against injustice and to right the wrong."

2017 plans

In 2017, he would be continuing the fight to get back into the ANC fold.

He has appealed his suspension, and remains hopeful that it will be successful and he will be exonerated.

"To be vindicated by the venting of what really happened on the road between Stellenbosch and Sun City; and what did not happen. By the venting of what happened before the trip, and what happened after the trip."

But that’s only part of his 2017 plan. Mostly, Fransman hopes to see the end of factionalism in the Western Cape, which had divided the party before and after its 2015 elective congress.

"I hope for the restoration of the ANC, the organisation I love. Restoration of the inviolable principles of fairness, of equality, of transparency; compliance with the constitution – principles violated in the desperate onslaught against me.

"I have big plans for 2017 – plans separate from fixing the false allegations and the persecution of 2016," he said.

"2016 was the year of politicians fighting for position at the expense of leaders, peers, and ordinary people; 2017 must be the year to address the real issues concerning ordinary people. I will take these issues to policy and elective conferences."

Read more on:    anc  |  marius fransman  |  cape town  |  politics

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