Fransman launches scathing attack on Mantashe
Durban – Embattled African National Congress Western Cape leader Marius Fransman has launched a scathing attack on the party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe, accusing him of wanting to get rid of him.
In a letter penned to the branch leadership, dated November 6, Fransman alleged that he had been barred from speaking out about issues after he was asked to step down in January pending a disciplinary process following allegations he sexually assaulted his then secretary.
Fransman was accused of sexually assaulting 21-year-old Louisa Wynand while they were travelling from Cape Town to Rustenburg for the party's 104th anniversary celebrations on January 8.
He resigned as a member of the Western Cape legislature in September and is currently awaiting the outcome of an internal process against him.
ANC provincial executive committee member Jabu Mfusi said he could not comment on the letter as the matter was being handled by the party's national executive committee (NEC).
Mantashe told News24 he did not want to comment on the matter until all processes were finalised.
Charge sheet based on 'lie'
"I always try to avoid discussing processes until they are finalised and we get the full report," said Mantashe.
Not holding back in the letter, Fransman accused the party of wanting him "taken down" for suggesting that President Jacob Zuma should have been removed at the party's national general council (NGC) last year.
Giving his version of events surrounding the sexual assault allegations, Fransman said on August 23 he received a charge sheet from Mantashe's office based on "a lie that had been reported early in January".
He said despite legal authorities declining to prosecute, the party went ahead with a disciplinary hearing.
"The ANC integrity committee [IC] decided to convene on this lie but not on the matter concerning ANC Boland regional secretary [Jonton] Snyman who was convicted of fraud in a court of law and the hijacking of a private company.
"The IC decided not to convene on the guilt finding of the Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs in the physical assault of a senior employee, Wesley Seale. The IC decided not to convene when the provincial secretary had to face charges of assault in a court of law."
He said he believed the case was politically motivated.
"The IC was used in a political battle by a faction, something the October 2015 NGC cautioned against. Thus, the IC can condone fraudsters and assaulters as long as they are in the faction of Mantashe."
Issue of succession
Fransman said he wrote to the national disciplinary committee in October indicating the disciplinary committee process was "nothing but a factional intent to get rid of me, and we requested them to intervene and get the relevant documents to me as the [secretary general] promised. Needless to say, I received no such."
He questioned why "a certain faction" would go to such great lengths "to get rid of him".
"Why would such important comrades cling onto a lie of a person that they don't even know" over the word of "a comrade that served for more than two decades in senior positions, with no wrongful doing in offices, other than the opposition parties accusing him of whatever?"
Fransman said he believes the reason the party has "gone for him" is because he raised certain issues during an NEC meeting in 2015 "where I exposed the Pigalle's restaurant meeting of August 2015 where business and comrades met and decided that Fransman must be taken down as he is an obstacle towards the 2017 conference. And that President Zuma must go at October NGC 2015".
Fransman said he also told Mantashe in August 2015 that "the way they're going about the succession issue is wrong and he must go and engage the president and find coherence and unify all of us".
This article first appeared on News24