ANC to host its rally in Grabouw today

At this stage it remains unclear if Fransman will attend the event despite the party saying he’s free to.

FILE: ANC Provincial Secretary Marius Fransman at the the ANC Youth League rally outside the DA headquarters on Mill Street. The ANC say the DA are running a racist government in the Western Cape. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape will host a rally in Grabouw today, with a dark cloud hanging over two top officials.

This week, the party's National Working Committee, directed provincial chairperson Marius Fransman to step aside, pending the finalisation of a probe by the ANC's integrity commission, into allegations that he sexually assaulted his personal assistant, while the two were travelling to Rustenburg in the North West for the ANC's birthday celebrations.

Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs has also been sent a letter, warning he would be suspended for a second time over an alleged assault that happened last year.

It's unclear whether either of them will attend the rally, which forms part of the ANC's 104th birthday celebrations.

But Provincial spokesperson, Jabu Mfusi, said the event will go ahead as planned.

"We ourselves we're busy mobilising the people and they are much ready to attend the rally at the stadium in Grabouw."

The rally was supposed to take place in Grabouw two weeks ago, but the ANC postponed the event because it claims the local municipality was making it difficult for the event to go ahead, a claim the Democratic Alliance (DA)-run municipality denies.

The party said it expects Fransman to understand why he has been told to step aside.

Fransman has reportedly said that he won't fight the ANC's decision that he step aside.

News24 is reporting that Fransman will be taking leave during this time, with him claiming it's in the best interests of the party.

ANC TIGHTENS REGULATIONS

At the ANC's 2012 Mangaung Conference it was resolved that officials accused of crime or corruption should consider stepping down from their posts temporarily, until their names were cleared.

Despite that resolution, several charges were laid against ANC officials and they stayed on in their positions.

But at the party's national general conference last year, this resolution was tightened as delegates said it was unacceptable for the name of the ANC to be dragged through the mud any longer.

Then John Block resigned as Northern Cape ANC leader after being found guilty of corruption.

This decision could thus strengthen that precedent and make it harder for anyone else to cling to office if they face serious accusations.