Below is an interview Political Analysis South Africa’s Stephanie Naidoo had with the for the ANC Western Cape Provincial Secretary , Mr Faiez Jacobs, on the status of leadership in the province.
Interviewer: There appear to be perennial leadership problems in the Western Cape Province. Please could you comment on this?
Faiez Jacobs: Currently, there is a vacancy for our Provincial Chair, because of the suspension. So, other than the Chair, there is a whole Provincial Executive Committee that is in operation, and they are driving the agenda of the organisation. I am the Provincial Secretary, and have been in this position since 2015. We have an Acting Provincial Chair, currently, and he deals with the day-to-day leadership issues. The leadership is always a challenge, because there are a lot of issues around “how do you build unity in the ANC structures?” But to say that, we are without leadership, is not true, because we have a leadership core. We have a Provincial Executive Committee, of the Provincial leadership, running the affairs. I am in the office on a day-to-day, I run the Provincial Office. So, there is this leadership structure, and the Acting Provincial Chair, in the province, who is also the leader of Opposition in the Legislature.
Marius Fransman stated that he has been mistreated by the organisation on the basis of the allegations made against him, which he deemed to be “political assault.” To what extent has mistreatment by the ANC taken place?
Mr Fransman had the right to represent himself. There was a serious allegation of him being involved with an underage girl, whom he took with to a meeting. He has changed his version many times – he has been given the opportunity; from saying that the girl is in his employ, to saying that he is giving her an opportunity. And, when he was given the opportunity to represent his version of the story – he did not arrive. There was prima facie evidence presented, and there was a ruling made by the court. He went through the normal process, and he did not appeal. So, the problem with Marius Fransman, is he was not responsive in providing a factual response, he was given an opportunity.
“There is no ploy to get him [Marius Fransman] out, that is just a fabrication. We all have to subscribe ourselves to the collective discipline of the organisation. He is not above the organisation. So, my view is that there is no plot against him; he was found guilty after a due process [displinary hearing], he was given the right to appeal, and then he did not appeal his sanctions – and he was given an extension.”
Mr Fransman had been making media appearances, which gives the impression that he still leadership status, despite his suspension.
He is no longer in leadership in the province; he has been suspended for about six months, now.