Maverick Citizen

WESTERN CAPE

More sexual assault allegations loom over Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz – Premier Winde

Suspended Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz. (Photo: Gallo Images / Misha Jordaan)

Information released by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde points to more alleged victims coming forward and making statements against the MEC.

Winde said that initial allegations related to the matter were first brought to his attention on 23 November 2021. 

“I immediately requested affidavits from the persons directly involved so that I could take action. Since that date I have ensured that the complainants were afforded due care and empathy and that no pressure was placed on them, noting the nature of their complaints,” said Winde.

Earlier this month, Winde said he was informed that the complainants were ready to hand over their affidavits. He met with them 11 days ago, accepted their accounts, and consulted with legal services on the next steps.

However, more individuals have since indicated that they want to come forward too and legal services also took down their accounts, Winde said. 

“I am being assisted by the legal services unit of the Western Cape government, which has approached the State Attorney, instructing that independent legal counsel be appointed to conduct an external investigation into the veracity of the allegations made against MEC Fritz.”

He emphasised that the publication of the names of the alleged victims, against their will, would be unacceptable.

The complainants, Winde added, have been informed that they have the option to lay criminal charges too.

But the ANC in the Western Cape legislature wants Parliament to summon the premier over the allegations against Fritz.  

ANC Chief Whip Pat Lekker said: “As far as we are concerned, the latest bid in closing ranks around what Premier Winde has called serious allegations against Fritz, is a letter from the Speaker, Masizole Mnqasela, in which he informs MPL Mesuli Kama that he cannot interfere in the work of the Standing Committee on Community Safety, Cultural Affairs and Sport.”

Lekker said the letter, sent on Tuesday, came after the chairperson of the provincial oversight committee on community safety, Reagen Allen, instead of heeding Kama’s request to summon Winde to an urgent meeting to explain his reasons for suspending Fritz, gave him until Wednesday to supply an explanation for his action.

“In defending the right of the standing committee not to summon the Premier, the Speaker is doing the indefensible. We want the truth to be known as soon as possible and if that means it will come out at the National Council of Provinces, then so be it,” Lekker said.

Allen responded that the ANC has turned the suspension of Fritz into a spectacle, forgetting that there are real people involved in the situation. DM/MC

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 3

  • The more I read about this issue, the more concern I am. This is a clear case of GBV, by a senior member of a political party for at least 10 years. The victims, working for the council, were obviously scared of loosing their jobs and thus did not reported it to the police. However, from other news media I gleaned that at least one victim approached Mr. JP Smith, responsible for safety and security in Cape Town as early as August 2021. It appears he did nothing about it when the red flag was patently obvious. Details are sketchy, but I understand an excuse of processes etc. was used, hence it tool a further 3 to 4 months before Wilde even became aware of it. But in this serious matter, one would have thought that any responsible councillor would have acted without delay. Is this thus a case of senior party members “protecting” each other, or to hide a crime in order to prevent reputational damage to the party concerned? In any credible public company the CEO or senior management would have done a thorough investigation immediately. Few crimes are worse that GBV cases in the workplace

    • There can’t be any excuses for JP not to have taken this further. It has nothing to do with processes and everything to do with sexual harassment.

  • The problem is his persona seemed always like above board,I for 1 thought he was above board and 1 of the more effective members.”Stille waters, diepe grond, onder draai die duiwel rond”!!!It seems the saying is true”never trust a politician”

  • Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted