Brown denies resignation rumour

Lynne Brown, the African National Congress (ANC) leader of the opposition in the Western Cape legislature upon whom the Democratic Alliance (DA) showered surprising praise this week, has rejected suggestions she will resign following Marius Fransman’s unopposed election as new party leader in the province.

“I have served the movement and I have done the best I could,” she told the Mail & Guardian. “As instructed by the ANC, I have fought corruption when I could. I will not be resigning as I have done nothing wrong.”

Newspapers reported last weekend that Brown would resign and her ANC allies, provincial legislature members Mcebisi Skwatsha and Max Ozinsky, would be purged by Fransman. But Fransman denied this.
“There will be no purging anywhere,” he told the M&G. “Our call is on all comrades to unite, work together hard to strengthen the impact of the ANC in the Western Cape and ensure we work on a common programme of action.”

In his response this week to Premier Helen Zille’s state of the province address, the DA’s provincial minister of transport and public works, Robin Carlisle, praised Brown for cracking down on corruption when she was premier.

Carlisle said the attempted sale of the valuable Somerset Hospital property to “political cronies” was cancelled overnight after Brown took over, following the dismissal of former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool.

‘Mired in controversy’
Brown told the M&G she cancelled the sale of the Somerset Hospital site to Dubai World because it was “mired in controversy”. Carlisle followed his warm words for Brown with a scathing attack on Fransman’s record as Western Cape minister of transport and public works.

In those four years the plundering by his department was on a “massive scale”, Carlisle said.

“Properties were sold for more than R200-million under very favourable circumstances for the buyer,” he told the legislature. Carlisle said the ANC cabinet, driven by the reforming zeal of Brown, Skwatsha, Ozinsky, Garth Strachan, Yusuf Gabru, Patrick McKenzie and others, had cleaned up a “rotten administration”.

“Not only did the ANC at national level not embrace this extremely positive development as evidence of its avowed intention to stamp out corruption, but it turned savagely on the corruption-busting reformers,” Carlisle said. “The president himself has denounced them and left it to the chief architect of maladministration—Fransman—to drive them from public life.”

Fransman was named provincial ANC leader two weeks ago after his rival, Skwatsha, allegedly told the provincial conference he would not participate because the election process had been “fraudulent”.

Appeals against alleged irregularities at the conference have been sent to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. The party’s national executive committee is expected take a decision on the matter when it meets next month.

Fransman told the M&G Carlisle’s “tirade was an extremely personal attack”, when he was not there to defend himself.

Glynnis Underhill

Glynnis Underhill

Glynnis Underhill has been in journalism for more years than she cares to remember. She loves a good story as much now as she did when she first started. The only difference is today she hopes she is giving something back to the country. Read more from Glynnis Underhill

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