The case against Fransman
“They put a lot of pressure on her to withdraw. And it was people with money,” said the senior party members.
“Remember, she did not have money to go there, and caught a lift with Marius. But she flew back. Who flew her back to Cape Town?”
The woman is understood to have taken the flight back to Cape Town on Friday.
Another senior insider close to the investigation told City Press the young woman was offered money to withdraw the case. “The amount was said to be R50 000,” the insider said. However, it was not clear who offered to pay the woman.
In addition, North West police were allegedly warned to remain tight-lipped about the criminal charges laid against Fransman. City Press has learnt that shortly after the charges were laid on Tuesday, an instruction was issued by the office of acting North West police commissioner Major General Jacob Tsumane that the details of the case be kept from the public.
The case will soon be transferred to Kimberley, where the alleged crime occurred.
North West provincial police spokesperson Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone declined to comment.
Yesterday at the wine estate, with its manicured lawns and tree-flanked dam, a staff member said Fransman was a regular visitor to the farm. The employee told City Press that Fransman usually arrived with only his driver in a black car.
Fransman last had a meal at the farm’s restaurant, which serves Norwegian salmon and aubergine melanzane next to a grand piano, last weekend.
Another employee said the alleged victim resigned “very suddenly” two weeks ago, saying she had been offered a job with perks, including a car, a driver and a flat. She was known to speak with Fransman.
City Press’ calls and SMSes to Fransman went unanswered yesterday.
ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Diko denied that the woman was offered money to drop the case, or that anyone in the party had tried to quash it.
“That’s quite a clichéd allegation, and it is quite predictable and frivolous. There is a lot of speculation going around and I won’t substantiate any of it. Marius Fransman is not losing any sleep over this. He’s had 20 years of unbroken service and he’s seen it all,” said Diko.
In a statement on Friday night, the ANC’s Western Cape branch said “Fransman denies the allegations with the contempt they deserve”. Fransman said: “As a seasoned politician, I expect these kinds of malicious attacks on my integrity. This is unfortunately one of the lowest levels that people can stoop to.
“I want the police to leave no stone unturned in investigating this matter, as I am interested in getting to the bottom of the allegations. I will pursue all available avenues to clear my name and protect my integrity.”
Mahumapelo was in a meeting yesterday afternoon and did not respond to detailed questions. On Friday, his spokesperson Brian Setswambung dismissed allegations that he tried to quash the case as “an absolute lie”.
“What the premier simply did was to enquire about the incident. After enquiring, he was satisfied with the information received and said the law should take its course.”
Meanwhile, ANC members in the Western Cape, who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity, said they expected Fransman to be suspended or at least to take leave voluntarily until the case against him was finalised.
“He should be suspended, especially if you take the resolutions from Mangaung [into account],” said the member.
“The discussion at that conference was about whether the inaction on accused comrades is a disservice to the individual or a disservice to the organisation, and Mangaung agreed it was a disservice to the organisation, and we need to protect the organisation.”
Another senior ANC member from the Western Cape also expected Fransman to take a leave of absence.
“He has dented the image of the ANC. In fact, this overshadowed the January 8 statement,” said the member.
“You must also remember he is not only a member of the [Western Cape] provincial legislature, he is the leader of the opposition in the legislature. Every time he gets up to speak, he will be reminded of this scandal. The ANC cannot afford that going into an election.”
Last month, ANC Western Cape officials placed the party’s provincial secretary, Faiez Jacobs, on “precautionary leave pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary process”.
Jacobs was accused of assaulting an ANC staff member.