African National Congress (ANC) Western Cape leader Marius Fransman. Picture: Candice Chaplin.
African National Congress (ANC) Western Cape leader Marius Fransman. Picture: Candice Chaplin.

Mob attacks Fransman at ANC meeting

By Clayton Barnes And John Harvey Time of article published May 2, 2013

Share this article:

Cape Town - Western Cape ANC chairman Marius Fransman limped off the stage at Cosatu’s May Day rally at the Good Hope Centre on Wednesday after being attacked by a knife-wielding mob in Oudtshoorn the night before.

Fransman, who is also deputy minister of international relations and co-operation, was in the Klein Karoo town to give its mayor, Gordon April, his marching orders on Tuesday night.

April, who faces charges of theft, intimidation and using municipal resources for personal use, was informed that he would be demoted pending the outcome of the court case and that a new mayor would be appointed.

But as Fransman and a group of ANC provincial executive committee members were leaving the municipal building on Tuesday evening, they were approached by an angry crowd.

A tussle broke out and Fransman, who is believed to have been injured, was rescued by his bodyguards.

Stun grenades were thrown by police and at least four people – including a journalist who claimed he and others had been assaulted by police – were arrested.

It had earlier been announced by ANC national executive committee member Jessie Duarte that April would be replaced by council member Pieter Luiters.

But after Fransman announced in Oudtshoorn that Luiters would go back to the Eden district municipality, about 50 Luiters supporters, described by Fransman as “a bunch of thugs”, descended on the municipal building at 9pm, chanting “go away Fransman, we don’t want you in Oudtshoorn”.

Windows of the building were broken during the rumpus.

Fransman said: “When I went out one guy and three others launched themselves straight at me, but my security was able to… prevent them from hitting me.”

Bodyguards rushed Fransman into his black 5-Series BMW and police escorted him out of town.

 

He told the Argus: “I’m fine. I wasn’t really injured, but we will launch an immediate investigation… to establish who was behind this attack.”

Fransman said April and several other ANC councillors had been present when the attack took place.

 

“This is a rogue group. But we will get to the bottom of this. I don’t believe they are ANC members. They may be affiliates to factions, but if any ANC members were involved they will be disciplined.

“I want to thank the police for their quick response. The ANC will not allow such thuggery. The law must take its course.”

ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said: “If any ANC member is found to have been behind this, they will face the full might of our disciplinary processes.”

He said the ANC executive would hold an urgent meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter.

Police spokesman Brigadier Phuti Setati said four people were arrested after police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

“A policeman was injured after he had been struck in the face by a stone, and a police vehicle was also damaged,” he said.

The four were due to appear in the Oudtshoorn Magistrate’s court today.

Die Son photographer Hein Coetzee, one of the four arrested, said police had assaulted him.

“I was taking pictures of a police officer assaulting an African guy when one policeman spotted me and sprayed pepper in my face. I went back to the municipal building, where I saw the officer who had sprayed me.

“I asked him three times why he had sprayed me. Then he got out of the car and said that I had called him a p**s. He shoved me against the car and took one of my cameras and removed the memory card. I was arrested and charged with crimen injuria. I was released at 10.30 this morning. I have now laid complaints of assault and theft against the police.”

Cape Argus

Share this article: