NPA to prosecute Marius Fransman over sexual harassment allegations

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced over the weekend that it will be prosecuting former Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman for alleged sexual assault.

Fransman is accused of sexually harassing Louisa Wynand in 2016 during a trip to Rustenburg. Wynand was his personal assistant during the ANC’s 104th birthday at the time.

“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,” Wynand’s spokesperson, Gavin Prins told Timeslive. Wynand was informed of the NPA’s decision to prosecute Fransman on Friday.

Prins said she is ready to face Fransman in court: “This process has strengthened her and she’s ready. The fact that she hasn’t given up on this, just goes to show the strength of this woman.”

In a statement released on Saturday, Fransman said he would be engaging his lawyers “to better understand the decision of the director of public prosecutions in Kimberley.”

“The full details of the charge are unclear‚ considering the decision of the authorities in the North West Province two years ago not to prosecute,” said Fransman.

Wynand opened a case of sexual assault with the Sun City police in 2016.

The NPA’s Northern Cape Spokesperson, Phaladi Shuping, told media that a court date has not been set “because the prosecution is still working on the process of centralisation, for all the charges to be prosecuted in Kimberley.”

The ANC’s integrity commission, tasked with protecting the reputation of the party, found in 2016 that the evidence presented by then-21-year-old Wynand was of a convincing nature and “more likely to be true, than not”.

READ MORE: ANC report on Marius Fransman says sexual harassment claims may be true

At the time of his suspension, Fransman said the sexual harassment allegations were part of a plot to get rid of him.

Wynand told the integrity commission in 2016 that Fransman offered her a job as his personal assistant after they met at a wine estate where she was working as a hostess.

She then went on to explain how Fransman attempted to hold her hand and wanted to touch her inappropriately. Wynand said Fransman also made her share a room with him at the Diamond Lodge in Kimberley, while they were travelling to Rustenburg.

Fransman was suspended by the ANC’s national disciplinary committee for five years in November 2016 after he was found guilty of two accounts of misconduct. The ANC at the time said he was “guilty of abusing his office for the purpose of attempting to obtain a sexual favour from Louisa Wynand, and for making public statements which brought the ANC into disrepute.”

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