Fransman's assistant threatens legal action against ANC provincial secretary

2016-09-01 17:13
Marius Fransman

Marius Fransman

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Cape Town - The constituency office assistant to African National Congress Western Cape leader Marius Fransman has threatened provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs with defamation charges should he not apologise for saying she is not a member of the ANC.

In a lawyer's letter, Vanessa Le Roux said that, at a provincial executive meeting at the weekend, Jacobs had claimed that she was not a member of the ANC and had called for her suspension.

Le Roux said Jacobs's remarks were also noted in the minutes of the meeting. She said she regarded the comments, and the noting of them, as a slight on her character.

The comments suggested that she had "disreputable moral values" and was "a fraud".

She has given Jacobs until September 7 to publish an apology and to retract the comment.

Jacobs was not immediately available for comment, but ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Diko said he was not aware of the accusation, or the demand for a retraction.

READ: ANC Western Cape divisions exposed in contradictory statements on Fransman

Le Roux said she had met Fransman in her capacity as the co-ordinator of the Save Our Schools campaign, which was aimed at preventing the closure of around 15 schools in the Western Cape.

This month marked a year since she had started working with Fransman as the co-ordinator in the provincial constituency office, she said.

Conflicting statements

In the lawyer's letter, she said that she had been marginalised and victimised at work as a result of the comments, and had been booked off sick for a stress-related illness.

She said she had rejoined the branch in Ward 17 in 2011 and was an active member.

The party's provincial officials have issued several conflicting statements this week, with Fransman's case of sexual harassment at the centre of the disputes. The accusation of sexual harassment was made by another PA, Louise Wynand.

On Monday, Jacobs issued a statement, saying it had been recommended that Fransman's internal case on the matter be expedited and that Fransman be suspended until it was resolved.

READ: ANC Western Cape 'ill discipline' criticised after conflicting Fransman statements

Then the spokesperson for the ANC's provincial executive committee, Jabu Mfusi, slammed Jacobs's statement and apologised to Fransman on behalf of the party.

Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, who is acting as a caretaker for the party in the province, then dismissed Mfusi's statement, and said Jacobs's statement was the right one.

This comes as the party tries to figure out how to recover from a drop in support in the August 3 local government elections. It has so far called for renewal from branch level.

Read more on:    anc  |  politics

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