Cape Town - Marius Fransman faces a bleak Christmas, including possible arrest, following a National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decision confirmed yesterday that it intends prosecuting the former Western Cape ANC leader for sexual assault.
NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said a public announcement with more details would follow the confirmation to Fransman’s Stellenbsoch accuser, Louisa Wynand, 23, that she would have her day in court.
“I spoke to the prosecutor, who confirmed that they are planning to charge Mr Marius Fransman,” Shuping said in a text message. “Please give me until 14h00 to respond to your query because the prosecutor was not able to give me full details as she was tied up. She said she will come back to after 13h00.”
No further details followed. However, confirmation came via Wynand.
“The National Prosecuting Authority has today (Friday, December 7, 2018) informed our client, Louisa Wynand, of their decision to prosecute former Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman,” said her spokesperson, Gavin Prins.
“Louisa opened a case with SAPS in January 2016, accusing Marius of sexual assault while the ANC was holding its celebrations in the North West. A few months later, the ANC’s national disciplinary committee announced it had found him guilty on two counts of misconduct and suspended his ANC membership for five years,” he said.
“Louisa is relieved that the NPA decided to prosecute. She has always had faith in the NPA and will continue to support the police with their investigation. Hopefully this case can be finalised soon so that she can continue with her life. More information regarding the next steps have not yet been made available to us but she has full confidence in the NPA.”
Attempts to reach Fransman, 49, were unsuccessful. His wife, Philda, answered his cellphone, saying he was out of the country. Reliable sources later revealed Fransman to be in Venezuela.
Questions to his spokesperson, Vanessa Le Roux, on when he was due back in South Africa went unanswered. She also did not confirm if Fransman would return to face the legal music.
Le Roux did, however, issue a media statement indicating that Fransman’s prosecution was news to him.
“It came to my knowledge that NPA intends to proceed with this matter. The full details of the charge are unclear, considering the decision of the authorities in the North West Province two years ago not to prosecute. I will be engaging my lawyers to better understand the decision of the DPP in Kimberley.”
Philda Fransman refused to comment on the Christmas bombshell. When asked if she was shocked, she killed the call and refrained from replying to any messages asking if she stood by Marius.
In November 2016, Wynand hailed the ANC’s decision to suspend its Western Cape chairperson for five years, calling it “one small step on our road to victory”.
The ANC national disciplinary committee (NDC) found Fransman guilty on two counts of misconduct - one for abusing his office for the purpose of attempting to obtain a sexual favour from Wynand and another for making public statements which brought the ANC into disrepute.
“I am relieved at the outcome of the ANC’s ruling that Marius Fransman be suspended from the party,” said Wynand afterwards .
“The ANC has handled this process in a professional way and I am grateful for that. They really did a thorough investigation into all of the allegations and the truth led them to their finding.
“No woman in this country should go through the abuse I suffered. I am still picking up the pieces, but I am stronger now more than ever.”
The ANC NDC noted Fransman had failed to attend the hearing and showed no remorse for his misconduct.
Fransman responded by claiming the disciplinary proceedings were flawed and that there were factions within the party that wanted him out.
“They used this issue to get rid of me,” he said.
In January 2016 Wynand accompanied Fransman and three of his friends on a business trip to the ANC’s birthday celebrations in Rustenburg.
It was reported that she was forced to sleep next to Fransman when they stopped overnight at a Kimberley hotel.
Leaked details from the investigation docket revealed in 2016 that after arriving at the Flamingo Hotel on Tuesday, January 5, at about 2.19am, Wynand “was forced to share the bed with the suspect and he would (sic) wrap his arms over her and rubbed himself against her, touching her breasts.
“She told him that she does not feel comfortable and he said it would be her challenge to overcome if she wanted to make a success out of her career and needed to be clinical and cold about it. They then proceeded to Rustenburg.”