Marius Fransman did not have the ANC’s agreement to return to the post of Western Cape leader and the party would oppose his court bid to claim the job back, national ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said on Monday.
“He is not back in the position, the ANC has an acting chairman in the Western Cape,” Kodwa said.
“We will challenge it and defend ourselves,” he added of Fransman’s reported approach to the Western Cape High Court to secure the release of an ANC report.
Kodwa confirmed remarks by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to the effect that Fransman imposed himself at campaign events last week and embarrassed ANC elections head Nomvula Mokonyane into telling reporters that he was back in the fold to save face.
Fransman made a surprise appearance on the campaign trial on Thursday, as President Jacob Zuma went door-to-door in Philippi on the Cape Flats.
At the weekend, he issued a statement welcoming what he termed the ANC’s “acknowledgment” on that day that he was back in his post and proclaiming: “There is no confusion: I am the Western Cape ANC leader.
“I have never ceased to be the Western Cape ANC leader since my election to the office. I have voluntarily stepped aside to allow the Integrity Commission to conclude its work without interference, and am now assuming my duties and responsibilities again at the conclusion of that process.”
In a stab at the party, he added: “My prolonged absence was only the result of a poorly managed internal process.”
Asked for comment, Mantashe said the ANC did not want to be sidetracked by Fransman more than a week before the local government elections.
“We do not want to concentrate on Fransman. It is de-focusing us. We want to focus on the election,” he told ANA.
Kodwa said that the ANC needed to consider a report on Fransman and the sexual harassment charges that saw the party ask him to step aside from the position before taking any decision on his fate.
Asked when it planned to do so, he answered: “I don’t know. There are many disciplinary cases, I can’t say when his will come up.”
Fransman was accused of sexually harassing a 21-year-old colleague while they were travelling to the ANC’s birthday celebrations in Rustenburg in January.
The case was sent to the Northern Cape’s director of public prosecutions (DPP), after prosecuting authorities in North West decided not to proceed with the it, citing insufficient evidence.
The Northern Cape DPP then referred it back to the investigating officer with questions, where the matter remains at this point, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.
– African News Agency (ANA)