The case against Frans­man

CityPress - - News -

“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.

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