POLITICS

Marius Fransman And Gwede Mantashe Are Fighting About Andile Lungisa And Ice Cream

"I will become an ice-cream salesman if comrade Mantashe can stop bringing dishonour to the same office that was so eloquently held by others."

24/03/2017 13:34 SAST | Updated 24/03/2017 13:39 SAST
Andreea Campeanu/AFP/Getty Images

The war of words between suspended Western Cape African National Congress chairperson Marius Fransman and party secretary general Gwede Mantashe has taken yet another turn, this time involving a delicious dairy treat.

Fransman wrote a letter in support of embattled Nelson Mandela Bay ANC leader Andile Lungisa on Thursday, defending the newly appointed chairperson against Mantashe's call for him to step down.

The party's leadership has said it goes against the ANC's constitution for Lungisa, a member of the provincial executive committee, to take a leadership role in a regional structure.

Mantashe responded by telling eNCA that Fransman should "go sell ice-cream".

"I will go sell ice-cream IF comrade Gwede Mantashe can stop allowing that brand ANC going down under his custodianship," Fransman wrote on Friday.

Fransman said he would take up Mantashe's challenge, and use his skills and expertise to help 50 poor, unemployed South Africans become "some of the BEST ice cream Sellers in SA!"

"Now comrade Mantashe must know, in the coloured community where I grew up, ice-cream selling was not a crime.

"In fact many of the professionals of South Africa today was built on the sweat and hardship of those men and women that sold ice-cream in our communities for a living! So VIVA to the ice-cream sellers!"

Fransman said he challenged Mantashe to stop "bullying activists on the ground" like Lungisa.

"I will become an ice-cream salesman if comrade Mantashe can stop bringing dishonour to the same office that was so eloquently held by others, not least the one that we honour this year, OR Tambo!"

Mantashe was not immediately available for comment.

'Breaking Lungisa's spirit'

On Thursday, Fransman -- who was suspended by the party following allegations of sexual harassment in 2016 -- bemoaned the "abuse of the ANC constitution".

He urged the party not to break Lungisa's spirit. Fransman sent a message to Lungisa on his Facebook page, as well as in a statement to the media.

"Today my status [goes] to a young, highly intelligent, very pragmatic, very grounded, analytical and visionary young man that held very senior positions at a young age, including deputy president of YL, president of Pan African Youth, and now chairperson of a region, comrade Andile Lungisa," Fransman's praises began.

Fransman, who is fighting his suspension from the party, used the opportunity to again hit out at Mantashe, who he has previously accused of being part of a group that masterminded his downfall.

"I will never believe that the constitution must be used as a draconian tool to get rid of people for political expediency."

He called on Lungisa not to despair and not to blame the organisation for what he was facing.

He offered Lungisa an apology "as a cadre and as a leader" for what he said was a humiliating experience.

News24