Cape Town – The Western Cape premier, Alan Winde, announced on Wednesday that advocate Jennifer Williams has been appointed to conduct an investigation into the misconduct allegations levelled against suspended Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz.
Fritz was suspended on Sunday due to “serious allegations” of misconduct that came to Winde’s attention last year on November 23.
“Initial allegations related to this matter were first brought to my attention by a third party informally on 23 November 2021. I immediately requested affidavits from the persons directly involved so that I could take action….Earlier this month, I was informed that the complainants were now ready to hand over their affidavits. I met with them 11 days ago, accepted their accounts, and consulted with legal services on the next steps to take…,” said Winde in a statement.
Following consultations with the province’s legal services, Winde concluded on requesting an independent legal expert to investigate the misconduct allegations against Fritz.
“Due to the serious nature of the allegations, it is my belief that an independent legal expert with relevant experience is best placed to investigate these allegations and determine their veracity,” said Winde.
On Wednesday, he announced the appointment of Advocate Jennifer Williams, who according to The Citizen is a former director of the Women’s Legal Centre and advocate at the Cape Bar, to investigate the Fritz case.
“We have now received confirmation that Advocate Jennifer Williams has been appointed to conduct the investigation. I will communicate the outcome of the investigation and take such steps as may be necessary or appropriate upon its finalisation. I have full faith that this investigation will be conducted with the integrity that it deserves,” said Winde.
News24, reported on Monday that four independent sources confirmed that sexual assault allegations were at the core of the suspension.
“He allegedly sexually assaulted young female workers in his office,” the report quoted a direct source who has knowledge of the suspension as saying.
Winde, on the other hand, issued a stern warning to those who are trying to get the names of the alleged victims.
“The publication of their names, against their will, would be completely unacceptable, and the Western Cape Government will take whatever action necessary to ensure it is prevented. These complainants have brought these allegations to me under the strictest of confidence. To publish their names, against their will, will only add to the very serious stress and anxiety that they are feeling now, and possibly, deter others from coming forward in similar cases in future,” said Winde.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo