The Democratic Alliance says Marius Fransman cannot return to the Provincial Legislature if he did not get the necessary permission for his absence.
The sidelined Western Cape ANC chairman unexpectedly arrived for a standing committee meeting on Premier Helen Zille’s department in the provincial legislature on Tuesday, reports Cape Argus.
Fransman’s surprise appearance follows the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority in the North West not to prosecute him for sexual harassment due to a lack of evidence.
Louisa Wynand, 21, from Stellenbosch laid a charge against Fransman after travelling with him in his car to the ANC’s birthday celebrations in Rustenburg in January.
Wynand claimed the ANC leader touched her inappropriately during the car ride, and allegedly forced her to share a room with him.
The young woman rejected the NPA’s decision and said on Tuesday she was in talks with her lawyers to take the matter further.
Fransman has been in limbo since the ANC National Working Committee asked him to step aside as Provincial Chairman in January.
The DA has requested that the NPA make public the record of its decision to see exactly what was lacking in evidence.
Fransman said he was not officially back at work, but sat in the committee meeting because serious issues of community upliftment were being discussed.
“Khaya Magaxa is still the leader of the opposition in the legislature. I am not back,” he added.
But the DA wants the Speaker in the Legislature, Sharna Fernandez, to investigate if Fransman had the necessary permission for his long absence.
The party says according to rules, a member who absents himself for 15 consecutive working days in which the committee sits, loses his or her membership of the Provincial Parliament.
Fransman told the Cape Argus that the past few months were “challenging”.
“This ordeal was a challenge of fact against fiction. The way I was judged without any proof or evidence is shocking. The allegations against me moved from an alleged rape case to an assault and eventually harassment, with the storyline consistently changing.”
Fransman maintains the saga was a political attack against him.
“In the past five months there were four people who came forward informing me that they were asked to manufacture affidavits,” he claims.
Fransman said he would not rule out legal action of his own, adding his legal team was still assessing the situation.
“What happened, how it happened and the players and actors involved, and then we will respond accordingly.”