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Fransman describes sexual allegations against him as malicious

Marius Fransman maintains he’s a firm believer in the protection of women’s rights and respects the laws.

South Africa's deputy foreign minister Marius Fransman and negotiator for the SADC, the organ for defence and security of the Southern African Development Community, gives a press conference on August 12, 2012 in Antananarivo. Senior officials from the regional bloc SADC, seeking to end a three year crisis in Madagascar. Picture: AFP.
Marius Fransman,Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman,sexual harassment,sexual crimes,sexual offenses
Local

CAPE TOWN – The African National Congress (ANC) Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman has described sexual harassment allegations against him as malicious.

North West police are investigating a case lodged against him in Sun City earlier this week. The claims against Fransman come as the ANC celebrates its 104th birthday in Rustenburg.

In a statement, Fransman maintains he’s a firm believer in the protection of women’s rights and respects the laws of the country.

Fransman however denies hurting the woman, whom he traveled with to Rustenburg from Cape Town.

He claims there’s more to the allegations and believes they are meant to tarnish his reputation.

The former International Relations deputy minister insists he will wait for police to complete their investigation before commenting further on the matter.

The ANC said it will also wait for the outcome of the probe before taking any action.

CONFLICTING STATEMENTS

Earlier yesterday, the ANC’s national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said Fransman assured the party that he would co-operate with police on the matter.

“At the moment we are aware. We are here [at the birthday celebrations] and we want to allow for investigations to take place.”

The party said it was awaiting the outcome of a police investigation into the allegations.

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Diko said, “Nothing official has been sent to the secretary’s office so at this stage there won’t be a statement.  Suffice to say, when the officials meet tomorrow, it's something that will be discussed and then an official statement will be released thereafter.”

THE OPPOSITION REACTS

Meanwhile, opposition parties are calling for the ANC to take disciplinary steps against Fransman.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the ANC should suspend him.

“When other political parties have dealt with such matters, the ANC has called on them to immediately place those individuals under suspension. We are calling on the ANC to place Marius Fransman under suspension until the investigation concludes.”

The Democratic Alliances (DA)’s Liza Albrecht said action has to be taken.

“If the ANC doesn’t immediately suspend Mr Fransman, they will be seen to approve of is alleged sexual assault.”

The DA’s Patricia de Lille stressed the need for further investigations.

“The desperate fight in South Africa against the scourge of sexual and domestic abuse is tragically undermined when party political leaders face criminal charges for these exact crimes. 

“Sexual assault charges against him must be investigated by the South African Police statement. Sexual assault charges against Fransman must be investigated by the Saps, there is no place for sex offenders in the seats of high political office.”

The Congress of the People (Cope) has also shared the same sentiments and says it will be keeping an eye on the case.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)




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