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DA hits back at ANC on Fritz saga as Winde briefs investigator

Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz has been placed on suspension. File photo.
Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz has been placed on suspension. File photo.
Image: Philani Nombembe

The DA has accused the ANC of milking the Albert Fritz saga for political mileage.

Cameron Dugmore, ANC leader in the Western Cape legislature, wrote to the provincial police commissioner on Wednesday to ask whether the allegations against the suspended community safety MEC amounted to criminal conduct.

Reagen Allen, DA spokesperson on community safety, quickly hit back.

“The DA in the Western Cape is appalled by the attempts of the ANC to gain political mileage from the sensitive disclosures relating to MEC Fritz,” he said.

“The [ANC's] attempt to politicise this matter is clear in that it has gone back on its initial pledge to lay charges against the premier. It now prefers to request advice from Lt-Gen [Thembisile] Patekile.”

Premier Alan Winde, who suspended Fritz on Sunday, has appointed a lawyer via the state attorney to probe the allegations.

Winde is yet to reveal the nature of the allegations, but media reports say Fritz has been suspended for alleged sexual misconduct.

Winde said he was meeting advocate Jennifer Williams on Thursday “to provide details brought to my attention by several complainants in the strictest confidence.

“I will provide her with details on steps I have taken to date. This information should enable her to begin her investigation immediately.

Once she does so, I do not foresee myself having a further role to play in that aspect — that is, until I receive her report into the veracity of the complaints.”

Winde said he was referring complainants to an NGO “dedicated to the assistance of complainants of the nature in question”.

This would “ensure that every person who complains to my office is treated with sensitivity within the investigation and in respect of any criminal or civil claim the complainant may wish to pursue”.

Allen welcomed Williams' appointment and said Winde had made clear that if she recommended criminal charges he would lay them.

“When there are findings to discuss, the premier will be invited to account for all decisions taken.

“The ANC is displaying a disregard for the wellbeing and dignity of whistle-blowers. We appeal to the ANC to demonstrate a basic level of respect for human dignity and allow the investigation to run its course.”

TimesLIVE


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