Twelve sexual misconduct complaints filed with Social Development Department during Fritz’s tenure

Albert Fritz pictured while MEC of Western Cape Community Safety alongside then MEC of Tourism Alan Winde at a press conference in Cape Town November 16, 2010.

PHOTO: Denzil Maregele/Gallo Images/Foto24

  • Sharna Fernandez said 12 sexual misconduct complaints were filed with the social development department.
  • This was for seven of the eight years that Albert Fritz was at the helm.
  • Fritz resigned as head of the DA’s Western Cape after an investigation found “sufficient credibility” in the sexual misconduct allegations.

At least 12 sexual misconduct complaints have been registered at the Western Cape Department of Social Development in seven of the eight years former MEC Albert Fritz was in charge.

However, the complaints would not have been directed against Fritz.

This was revealed in a written response by current Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez to a parliamentary question posed by ANC’s Gladys Bakubaku-Vos.

She asks if any complaints of sexual misconduct were reported to the department between 2012 and 2019.

Fritz served as the CEM of Social Development from 2011 to 2019, before being assigned to the Community Safety Department.

She says:

None of these complaints relate to the person whose name was provided to me. A complaint was received against an official in the appointee’s office, which was forwarded to the Employee Relations Branch of the Prime Minister’s Department, which conducted a thorough investigation. The case could not proceed due to the plaintiff’s unavailability.

Fritz resigned as head of the DA’s Western Cape after an independent investigation by attorney Jennifer Williams found “sufficient credibility” in allegations of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse against Fritz.

Premier Alan Winde said all due process was followed.

READ | ‘It wasn’t politically motivated’ – Premier Alan Winde on firing MEC Albert Fritz

Winde appeared before the Standing Committee on Community Safety on Wednesday, a day after the release of the long-awaited findings of a report compiled by Williams.

Winde told the committee that he applied his mind when the report was given to him.

“We have to understand that gender-based violence is a problem in our country and we have to think about it, as people in power,” he said.

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Joel C. Hicks