Pay back legal fees, Fransman told

Suspended ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman should repay almost R700 000 in legal fees owed to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP), says the Democratic Alliance (DA).

This follows the dismissal by Western Cape High Court Judge Nolwazi Boqwana of the Mr Fransman’s application in September to avoid appearing before the provincial legislature’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) hearing on the mismanagment of public fundsduring his reign as MEC for Public Works and Transport from 2005 to 2008.

Mr Fransman had filed the application in October 2014.

The provincial Scopa wanted him to answer questions on an auditor-general’s report about hundreds of millions of rand spent on consultants by the department of transport and public works, which Mr Fransman was political head of while the ANC was still in power in the province.

In the statement, DA member of the provincial legislature Mark Wiley, said: “The ANC must take this opportunity to instruct Fransman to repay the legal fees that he owes to the WCPP.”

He added that the fees emanated from Mr Fransman’s “attempts to avoid accountability”.

“(He) embroiled the legislature in undue legal action, which resulted in a waste of public money.

Although he is no longer a member of the WCPP, the ANC must take a stance against this wasting of taxpayers’ money and order that he repays it,” Mr Wiley said.

Mr Fransman, of Kuils River, appeared before an ANC disciplinary hearing on Thursday November 3 and Friday November 4, regarding allegations of sexual harassment made by Louisa Wynand, of Stellenbosch.

In 2014, auditor-general Thembekile Makwetu found that R328 million had been spent on consultants between 2005 and 2010. Scopa then summoned Mr Fransman and his colleague, former Health MEC Pierre Uys, to account for the spending, but the pair abruptly walked out after the opposition rejected their request for a postponement.

Mr Fransman then turned to the courts, but Judge Boqwana found no reason to grant his request to avoid appearing before the committee.
Xolani Sotashe, Western Cape ANC chairman, referred questions relating to the legal fees to provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs and said the party’s national structure was dealing with the sexual assault matter.
Zizi Kodwa, ANC national spokesman, did not respond to requests for comment and neither did Mr Jacobs.

Mr Fransman could not be reached for comment.