10 December 2018

South Africa: Fransman Consulting Lawyers to 'Better Understand' NPA Decision to Charge Him

Former ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman says he will consult his lawyers after hearing that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) intends bringing charges of crimen injuria and sexual assault against him.

"It came to my knowledge that [the] NPA intends to proceed with this matter," Fransman said in a short statement on Monday.

"The full details of the charge is 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 [Director of Public Prosecutions] in [Kimberley]."

The charges arose after Louisa Wynand asked the police to investigate a case of sexual assault in January 2016 while the ANC was holding birthday celebrations in the North West.

They relate to a road trip she took with Fransman in her capacity as an apparently newly-appointed personal assistant to the politician, who was attending the large gathering in Rustenburg.

It has taken almost three years for the provincial DPP to decide to charge him.

Northern Cape NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said a date has not yet been set for Fransman to appear in court, and that they were still finalising in which court he would appear, as the alleged incidents span three provinces.

He said it might be the Kimberley Magistrate's Court.

Wynand's spokesperson Gavin Prins 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."

The allegations also caused divisions in the ANC's leadership in the province at the time, with Fransman going to court to defend himself against a disciplinary committee.

Eventually the party's national disciplinary committee suspended his ANC membership for five years.

Source: News24

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