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Gone with the Winde: Sex scandal MEC ‘not fit’ to hold office, fired

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Despite Premier Alan Winde firing Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz for sex abuse charges, the police maintain that they cannot arrest him until a victim comes forward and opens a case.

Albert Fritz and Premier Alan Winde. File picture supplied: Willem Law/ African News Agency (ANA)

DESPITE Premier Alan Winde firing Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz for sex abuse charges, the police maintain that they cannot arrest him until a victim comes forward and opens a case.

The Western Cape premier says following an independent assessment of the matter, “the evidence points to that there is sufficient credibility in the allegations of sexual misconduct; there is sufficient credibility in the allegations of alcohol abuse; and there is sufficient evidence of Mr Fritz creating an environment that is conducive to sexual harassment, or alternatively, taking advantage of young women sexually”.

However, Police Spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa says: “As previously indicated, to date, no criminal cases have been registered with the SAPS by the complainants.

“The SAPS through its specialist investigators located within the Family violence, Child protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit remains on hand to investigate should criminal cases be opened by the complainant/s.

“A criminal investigation in this regard requires the affected party (not a third party) to open a case.

“As far as plans by [independent assessor] Advocate [Jennifer] Williams to meet and share information with the Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, the move is awaited by the SAPS as it may assist with an inquiry that SAPS initiated after several complaints on the matter.”

Fritz was sacked after the premier received the report from Advocate Williams on Sunday evening.

The Provincial DA leader then resigned from the party just hours after DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille gave him 24 hours to give reasons why he should not be suspended from the caucus and party activities.

Williams was looking into the veracity of the allegations which led to Fritz’s suspension last month.

Winde said: “I have considered the content, and a meeting with Advocate Williams and our own legal team took place [Monday] afternoon, where we discussed it and I sought further clarity.

“Having gone through this report carefully, it is clear to me that Mr Fritz is not a fit and proper person to hold any position in my executive council. He has therefore been removed, in line with the powers vested in me by the Constitution.”

Winde says the report indicates that Advocate Williams had interviewed 18 witnesses, including the complainants, Fritz, and his own nominated witnesses.

“During this process, I am informed, the witnesses submitted photographs, emails, videos, text messages and correspondence, which were considered.

“Mr Fritz was afforded the opportunity to respond to the allegations. Mr Fritz denied the allegations.”

When the Daily Voice reached out to Miche Solomons, aka Zephany Nurse, who is believed to be one of the complainants, she said she “will not celebrate another man’s downfall. I’m afraid I can’t give any comment about what happened.”

Miche was kidnapped as a baby from Groote Schuur in 1997 and reunited with her birth parents 17 years later.

She was offered a job by Fritz during his tenure as Social Development MEC.

Meanwhile Winde said he was “applying his mind” with regards to the vacancy left by Fritz and will make an announcement in due time.

The DA said the provincial leader position will be filled at the next provincial council meeting, scheduled for May.

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