Former ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman. Picture: Danie van der Lith/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former chairman of the African National Congress in the Western Cape, Marius Fransman is appearing in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for allegedly sexually assaulting his former personal assistant in 2016.

The offences were alleged to have taken place at a hotel in Kimberley, in the Western Cape and in Rustenburg, North West when Fransman and his team were en route to the ANC's January 8 celebrations in Rustenburg. Wednesday's appearance was for the court to receive a certificate of trial readiness, SABC television's news channel reported.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced in December 2018 that it was ready to prosecute Fransman. The charges were consolidated and the Kimberley court chosen to hear the matter. 

Fransman was suspended from the party for five years in November 2016 after the ANC national disciplinary committee found him guilty of two charges of misconduct. One charge related to sexual harassment, the other was in connection with his public statements which brought the party into disrepute.

“The charged member showed no political understanding of one of the fundamental objectives of the ANC viz, the support for and advancement of women's emancipation,” the disciplinary committee said in a statement at the time.

Fransman still maintains that he is innocent.

African News Agency/ANA