Lawyer claims factionalism behind ANC Western Cape secretary assault charge

2017-02-22 21:09
Former provincial ANC policy co-ordinator Wesley Seale, who has accused Jacobs of assaulting him (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Former provincial ANC policy co-ordinator Wesley Seale, who has accused Jacobs of assaulting him (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Factionalism and “protection” from an ANC leader were on Wednesday raised as possible motives for a man accusing Western Cape party secretary Faiez Jacobs of assault.

In response, former ANC policy co-ordinator Wesley Seale was adamant that he was not part of any faction.

Seale was testifying on the first day of Jacobs’s trial in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court. Jacobs allegedly assaulted him at the party's provincial offices in November 2015.

Seale was flown in as a State witness from Grahamstown. He is now a politics lecturer at Rhodes University.

Slaps, kicks, punches

After pleading not guilty, Jacobs explained that he slapped Seale after being confronted.

Seale, however, said Jacobs punched him off a chair and kicked him repeatedly as he lay on the ground.

Jacobs kept shouting "jy vat my lankal vir 'n naai [you've treated me like a fucker for long enough]" after Seale told him he had not written a report.

William King, for Jacobs, said human resources previously had to intervene after his client reported Seale for dereliction of duty or insubordination.

Seale confirmed he had a meeting with HR about Facebook posts. King said Seale had turned down an invitation for mediation in the assault case.

“Are you not motivated because of internal factionalism in laying this charge and laying evidence that is not the truth?”

Magistrate Alta le Roux intervened in the line of questioning.

Due process

King said that on the day of the alleged assault, Jacobs had threatened to report Seale for not completing the report and demanded he leave his office.

“When he informed you that he was going to take due process against you, you said you are protected by the chairman, meaning [Marius] Fransman.”

Seale said he wished Jacobs had followed due process instead of assaulting him. He denied saying those words.

“When you became aware that you could probably lose your job because of this, you approached him and jabbed in the chest to show him you were not scared,” King told him.

Seale denied this, but admitted he did not agree with Jacobs’s decision-making style. The conversation that day was not heated.

“I had worked very well with the accused before. I had worked very hard to bring him into the position [as secretary],” he said.

He said cellphone messages proved they were close.

“On the weekend he was elected, I went to him and said it would be an honour to serve under you.”

King disputed his version of events and the extent of his injuries. He said the injuries a doctor had described in a form were inconsistent with Seale’s version.

Grainy photos

Seale said the doctor took notes and only filled in the form later, when not in his presence.

He confirmed he was in pain at the time, took two weeks off work and wrote to Fransman to complain about what had happened.

King produced a printed copy of two grainy black and white photos, which allegedly landed on Seale’s Facebook page after friends tagged him.

“I have a photograph showing you at 21:41 that night at the Westin Hotel with friends,” the lawyer said.

Seale said he had gone there to eat so he could take his medication. The court did not accept the printouts as evidence to add to the file.

Jacobs, out on a warning, left the court after the matter was postponed to March 13.

A small group of female protesters held up posters stating: “Faize [sic] must fall”. As he walked past them, they sang “Faiez lemenemene [scoundrel/cheat/liar]”.

ANC Dullah Omar chairperson Xolani Sotashe and other officials were at court to support Seale.
Sotashe told News24 that an injustice had been done and they did not want to send the wrong message to communities.

"We can't preach organisational discipline, yet we walk sideways."

Read more on:    anc  |  faiez jacobs  |  cape town  |  politics

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