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Scopa probe into R9bn tenders adds to Fransman's woes

Politics
Cape Town - Embattled ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman’s woes have deepened after the Western Cape Legislature’s standing committee on public accounts indicated it would start a fresh probe into the payment of R9 billion by two provincial government departments to consultants.

Fransman was the Western Cape MEC of Transport and Public Works between 2005 and July 2008 and his colleague Pierre Uys was the Health MEC.

Last week the ANC’s national disciplinary committee ruled that his membership of the party should be suspended for five years over a sexual harassment complaint brought against him, and for bringing the party’s name into disrepute.

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The ANC’s national disciplinary committee ruled that Marius Fransman's membership of the party should be suspended for five years over a sexual harassment complaint brought against him. Picture: Courtney Africa

In September last year Fransman lost his Western Cape High Court application to block his appearance before the committee.

On Sunday Scopa chairperson Ferlon Christians said the investigation, prompted by the Auditor-General’s report into the finances at the two provincial departments, would start afresh.

Christians said: “Last week we had a meeting (as Scopa) and sent letters to the departments to brief us."

“We’re also awaiting a briefing by the A-G into its report over the billions spent on consultants. They will brief Scopa on May 7,” said Christians.

He said the probe which had started in 2014 had to be halted due to Fransman’s court challenge.

“We will sit down after the briefing from the departments, and the A-G, and we will decide who must account. I want to be fair, I don’t want to pre-empt anything,” said Christians.

Fransman slammed the probe.

“The irony is that Scopa must be used in an objective way I believe they should continue what they they think is right and I will respond whenever, appropriately,” said Fransman.

On Sunday night Fransman laid the blame the financial goings-on of the departments at the door of the ANC, and that whatever happened was due to the party’s policy objectives.

“We were an ANC government until 2009 and it is in that government that we have identified policy objectives. It’s easy now for people to try and throw dirt but that’s equally the right of petty politicians,” said Fransman.

Uys did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment.

Cape Times

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