Suspended Western Cape African National Congress (ANC) leader Marius Fransman on Thursday failed to show up for his second disciplinary hearing, meaning that his five-year suspension from the party stands.
He denied himself a second opportunity to present his case and prove his innocence, ANC National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) chairperson Susan Shabangu said in a statement.
“[We] were satisfied that Fransman was afforded a further opportunity of procedural fairness,” Shabangu said.
“He elected not to utilise it by not attending the scheduled hearing to present his evidence and that of his witness.”
Fransman told News24 he did not attend the hearing as he would not be complicit in a "kangaroo court". He said the NDC never gave him the witness statements he requested, and he had asked the ANC's national executive committee to address the matter.
A regime change faction was hell-bent on destroying the party’s leaders, he said.
“There are mercenaries in the ANC hell-bent on winning the national conference in 2017.”
A faction led by former tourism minister Derek Hanekom wanted to work him out of the party and take over the party leadership at its elective conference in December, he claimed.
“They will politically take you out, they will physically take you out to take your position. Pity the ANC has been put into this position.”
In November 2016, the NDC found Fransman guilty of using his office to gain “sexual favours” from his former personal assistant, Louisa Wynand, and for making public statements which brought the ANC into disrepute. Fransman did not attend his hearing and dismissed it as a kangaroo court.
He appealed the sentence. The ANC's disciplinary appeals committee referred the matter back to the NDC to ensure Fransman’s hearing had been procedurally fair.
Wynand opened a case with police in January 2016, accusing Fransman of sexual assault. They were travelling to the party’s January 8 celebrations in Rustenburg, North West, when he allegedly touched her inappropriately in the car.
She said she was forced to share a bed with him in a Kimberley hotel on January 5, where he allegedly also touched her inappropriately.