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SAPS inquiry opened into complaints over suspended Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz was suspended on Sunday following allegations of sexual assault against him by young employees who worked in his office. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz was suspended on Sunday following allegations of sexual assault against him by young employees who worked in his office. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 27, 2022

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Cape Town - The police in the Western Cape have confirmed that an inquiry has been opened into correspondences against alleged sexual assaults by Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, while awaiting key pertinent documentation before a case is registered.

This after the ANC in the Western Cape wrote to the Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile requesting him to investigate whether the allegations of misconduct by Fritz amounted to criminal conduct or not.

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Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the office of the provincial commissioner acknowledged receipt of correspondence from the ANC in the Western Cape.

Potelwa said the letter in question forms part of a series of engagements by various parties with regard to the matter raised.

“The doors of the SAPS remain open for all victims of the crime to open cases with the necessary support availed to them by police,” said Potelwa.

She said their specialist detectives located within the child protection and sexual offences (FCS) units are always on hand to investigate reported cases.

Fritz was suspended on Sunday following allegations of sexual assault by young employees who worked in his office.

He has also stepped down from his responsibilities as the DA’s provincial leader. After days of remaining mum, Premier Alan Winde spoke out, and confirmed that the provincial government’s legal services unit has approached the State Attorney, requesting that independent legal counsel be appointed to conduct an external investigation into the veracity of the allegations made against Fritz.

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Advocate Jennifer Williams was appointed to conduct the investigations.

EFF Western Cape chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “It will not be surprising to ascertain that the attempts to conceal these serious allegations and them coming out at this point is nothing else but a reflection of the tug-of-war between waging factions within the DA.”

Political scientist Roland Henwood, a lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria, said: “This episode again shows the double standards being applied throughout politics and government in SA - parties play the situation to their own narrow interests and not based on values or principles.”

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Henwood said respect should be shown to victims of crimes and the course of investigations and the law - especially if requested by complainants/victims at least until formal court proceedings commence and a decision is taken by justice officials.

“I am careful to judge Premier Winde as I do not have sufficient information and details - however, he seems to act more with more conviction and with speed compared to other leaders in SA,” he said.

He said some of the reactions from political parties in the Western Cape are at best opportunistic given their track record.

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