ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman has named his own colleagues as conspirators in a plot to oust him – and says he has SMSes to prove it.
Fransman, who had been accused of sexually assaulting 21-year-old Louisa Wynand while on a road trip to the ANC’s 104th birthday celebrations in Rustenburg in January, has denied the claims, and charges against him were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
Yesterday, he made the shocking claim that ANC Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs and the Boland’s regional secretary Jonton Snyman were behind the alleged plot to disgrace him.
This comes just days after well-known gospel singer John Pretorius stepped forward, claiming he was part of a plot involving Louisa and top ANC officials to smear Fransman.
Pretorius said he was forced at gunpoint to be part of the conspiracy but decided to come clean to his long-time friend as he fears for both their lives.
Fransman said just days before leaving for Rustenberg, he received a message from Snyman, in which Snyman accused him of forcing Jacobs to step down following allegations that Jacobs had assaulted a staff member in his office.
Fransman explains: “On December 26, I received a message from Snyman that said ‘[Former ANC Western Cape Premier Ebrahim] Rasool, was a factionalist but you are now the biggest factionalist, after what you did to Faiez, we will show you what we will do to you. SOON you will become the biggest embarrassment for the ANC in the 104 years’.
“On the 7th [of January] I received another message to say ‘rape in Rustenberg’ they [Snyman] thought something had happened [sex plot].”
Fransman says actions by party leaders to treat him differently to Jacobs, who was found guilty by the party’s disciplinary committee, and has pending criminal charges against him, show how deep-rooted factionalism was in the party.
Jacobs was suspended after allegedly assaulting researcher Wesley Seale for not writing a report.
His 18-month suspension has been suspended for three years.
Fransman says days after the sexual assault story broke, he didn’t know who to trust, and that the matter has been hard on his family.
“Don’t ask me what was the immediate aftermath because it was pain, but if I had not gone through this experience, I would not have understood that, at times, it is those who are close to you who will be your biggest destroyers, because of jealousy,” he explains.
“If it was not such a bald-faced lie… you question: can people really be this dishonest?
“For the record, [Louisa] Wynand actually lied. And there was no harassment, and there was no assault, and there was no rape.”
In response to Fransman’s allegations yesterday, Jacobs said: “My advice to Marius Fransman is that he must stop digging his own hole. My focus right now is building and uniting the ANC and its structures.”
Snyman’s cellphone went straight to voicemail while attempts to reach Louisa and her publicist were unsuccessful.