Louisa Wynand 'grateful' for Fransman's ANC suspension

2016-11-10 15:37
Louisa Wynand, the woman who accused ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman of sexual harassment. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Louisa Wynand, the woman who accused ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman of sexual harassment. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The woman who accused Western Cape African National Congress chairperson Marius Fransman of sexually assaulting her expressed relief on Thursday at his five-year suspension from the party.

The ANC's National Disciplinary Committee on Thursday announced it had found Fransman guilty on two counts of misconduct, and suspended his ANC membership for five years.

"The ANC has handled this process in a professional way and I am grateful for that," Louisa Wynand said in a statement.

"They really did a thorough investigation into all of the allegations and the truth led them to their finding."

Wynand opened a case with the police in January, accusing Fransman of sexual assault while the party was holding its January 8 celebrations in the North West.

The ANC said the two counts against Fransman related to "abusing his office for the purpose of attempting to obtain a sexual favour from Louisa Wynand", and for making public statements which brought the ANC into disrepute.

Wynand said she was glad this part of the process had been finalised.

"I am especially relieved for my family who has been my constant pillar and support structure throughout this time," she said.

"This is one small step on our road to victory. No woman in this country should go through the abuse I suffered. I am still picking up the pieces, but I am stronger, now more than ever."

'Kangaroo court of note'

READ: Disciplinary hearing 'a kangaroo court of note' - Fransman

She said her energies were now focused on the criminal investigation.

Fransman said he would be appealing the party’s decision.

The embattled leader said what was happening to him was becoming a joke.

"If it wasn’t serious, I would have thought it was an April’s fool's joke," he told News24 on Thursday.

It was all a ploy against selected members ahead of the 2017 ANC conference, he said.

The whole hearing had been a kangaroo court of note, he added.

"It is sad that people are putting their integrity at risk for a national conference.

"It is clear that the faction around [ANC secretary general Gwede] Mantashe is hell bent on getting rid of certain people," he said.

Fransman said he hadn’t had a chance yet to look at the suspension, and would make an official announcement once he had.

The provincial ANC branch welcomed the decision of the disciplinary committee, and said it had full confidence that due diligence was followed.

"After almost a year of uncertainty, we are pleased that the matter has come to conclusion," spokesperson Yonela Diko said on Thursday.

"[The] ANC thanks Comrade Fransman for over 20 years of unbroken service to our movement.

"We thank him for his great work in rallying various sectors behind ANC banner, including churches, cultural groups particularly the Khoisan and the Klopse."

'We take this as a lesson'

Diko admitted there were lessons the provincial branch should learn from Fransman's case, and the year in general.

He said its members must appreciate that the party had structures and that processes must be respected.

"The biggest lesson, however, of all which is truly regrettable, is the evident truth that more effort is needed in building relationships among our leaders," he said.

"We take this as a lesson that when our leaders address each other publicly and negatively instead of a typical home visit or call where there may exist differences reflects lack of deeper and meaningful relationships among ourselves."

Comradeship must be observed as an intrinsic revolutionary value to all of us, he said.

He hoped Fransman would continue to do community work during his five-year suspension.

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