News24

Drugs: Welfare official placed on leave

2012-02-08 11:22

Cape Town - A Western Cape social welfare senior director charged with drug possession after allegedly being found with tik in his car, has been placed on leave with immediate effect, social development MEC Albert Fritz said on Wednesday.

Dave McNamara was arrested in the Senator Park block of flats in the city centre early on June 28 2011, but the matter came to light only on Tuesday after Die Son newspaper reported on the case.

A tik straw and tik lolly were allegedly found in his pockets. He had been widely quoted in the media through the years about the Western Cape's drug problem.

"It has been brought to my attention that a senior official in my department was arrested last year on a charge of possession of illegal substances," Fritz said.

"I have taken legal advice on the matter and have decided on the following course of action. The official has been placed on leave with immediate effect for the next seven days.

Suspension

"In line with labour legislation, he has been informed of the department’s intention to proceed with suspension and during this time, he will have the opportunity to defend the allegations.

"Upon the lapse of this seven day period, a decision will be taken on whether or not to suspend the official."

Fritz said "contingency plans" were in place to ensure continued service delivery.

McNamara is expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court again in April.

Zodwa Mgwaza, the ANC's spokesperson for social development in the provincial legislature, said it was unclear how Fritz could have been kept in the dark about the matter for eight months.

"Substance abuse is a serious problem causing enormous suffering in the province," Mgwaza said.

"The DA must ensure the battle against drugs continues unharmed."

Comments
  • Ziggie - 2012-02-08 11:28

    I hope it is unpaid leave!!!

      rbphiri - 2012-02-08 11:33

      welfare?... "Well fare" well to his @ss.

      Andre - 2012-02-08 11:36

      Ziggie u must be joking???

      Ziggie - 2012-02-08 11:43

      @andre, what joke, as usual nothing else will happen to him, senior director, mates in high places. Worst can be unpaid otherwse he steals our taxes.......

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-08 12:47

      As far as I know people who are suspended get paid. Some officials have been on suspension for months and months, and get paid every month!

  • Steven - 2012-02-08 11:28

    "Substance abuse is a serious problem causing enormous suffering in the province," and the flippin country beyond!!!

      rbphiri - 2012-02-08 11:34

      His clock was TIKing...it was just a matter of time before he got fired.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-08 11:30

    Our society if facing huge challenges. its in decay!!!

  • Andre - 2012-02-08 11:35

    Why not fire him on the spot, now he is on leave and YES with Pay, ANC for u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Jaco - 2012-02-08 11:50

      ANC? Not everything is ANC related, this is Western Cape and DA is the party in power. Blaming ANC for this is like blaming ANC for a shark attack.

      Andre - 2012-02-08 11:56

      @ Jaco, Hallo, the DA might be in power there but there are seats that belong to the ANC as well, and this is one seat that he has, wake up Jaco, before your coffee is ice cold!!!!

      Andre - 2012-02-08 12:24

      Jaco, ek is trots op myself, jy weet die diere ryk meng nie, n rooibok dek nie n spring bok nie , geniet jou maar

      ttrevenen - 2012-02-08 16:12

      Oh for heaven's sake... his employment is not based on his political membership so it's neither the DA or ANC's fault that this gentleman has a "drug problem". He is entitled to the same benefits awarded all employed individuals in this country through the labour relations act. If he has a substance abuse problem the employer has to show that he has been awarded the opprtunity to obtain treatment (and has continued to take drugs thereafter)before he can just be dismissed. Just because he is a public servant does not mean that his rights are any different to yours or mine. As usual, this person is being found guilty on the basis of an insubstantial article in the media and not in a court of law... due process applies... innocent until proven guilty - NOT the other way around folks.

  • Cameronl - 2012-02-08 11:37

    On leave????? I believe firing this individual sounds befitting (should all it be proven they had drugs in their system) Or rehab..... leave hahaha ya ya ya blah blah blah less talk more action.

      Sika - 2012-02-08 12:35

      hey you all ANC Haters, read Zodwa Mgwaza, the ANC's spokesperson for social development in the provincial legislature, said it was unclear how Fritz could have been kept in the dark about the matter for eight months. "Substance abuse is a serious problem causing enormous suffering in the province," Mgwaza said. "The DA must ensure the battle against drugs continues unharmed."

  • Hennie - 2012-02-08 11:51

    He organised to be caught because getting leave by going through the normal channels takes to long

  • Angus - 2012-02-08 11:55

    I cannot understand this "suspension and leave" story for criminals caught red-handed. If I am caught at my company in possession, I am fired immediately and face criminal charges. Why is it that government officials are treated so lightly??? Caught red-handed = straight into jail!!!!!

  • Dhavandran - 2012-02-08 11:58

    come on da, show us how you feel about crime and punish this dog.

  • Bongani - 2012-02-08 12:03

    What would he be fired for getting high. He was stressed by drug problems in the Western Cape and he needed to clear his head. He was just doing research, give a guy a break.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-08 12:50

      Sure, have a break, have a Kit Kat, not TIK...

  • Mart - 2012-02-08 12:04

    again I suggest that all persons employed in public service be subject to random drug testing....especially the SAPS and Welfare Departments. Their close proximity to the serious drug problems makes them highly susceptible and of course once they're hooked they're lost to the influence of the underworld..

  • Sandy - 2012-02-08 12:07

    Fire the sod!

  • Jeslin Bekker - 2012-02-08 12:09

    And while the bugger is on leave investigate if he stole money to support his bad habit.

  • Hermann - 2012-02-08 12:12

    Zodwa Mgwaza, the ANC's spokesperson for social development in the provincial legislature, said it was unclear how Fritz could have been kept in the dark about the matter for eight months. At least something is being done unlike in the ANC centra that nilly willy place cadres on full pay leave for two years of more while ostensibly investigating the case which becomes longer and more drawn out while the investigation continues and fat cat gets rich doing nothing.

      Myvision - 2012-02-08 13:18

      One wonders who else is on drugs in that WC cabinet?

  • Phumi - 2012-02-08 12:17

    We wonder what else could be wrong in that cabinet of Madam Helen Zille? This is just a tip of the ice-berg of the frot that exist in that Province! The issue of drugs will never be sorted out in that province just like they can't sort out the 'toilet with views' in Khayelitsha because it involves an African child! They would rather invest in more bicycle lanes and Fashion Design exhibitions/Indabas about the city instead for the marginalised!

  • Peter - 2012-02-08 12:21

    +How do you know the drugs were not slipped into his pockets. there are so many juges

  • Myvision - 2012-02-08 12:22

    Just take the guy to rehab

  • Snoopsy - 2012-02-08 12:25

    He shouldn't be put on leave, He SHOULD BE FIRED!

  • Michelle - 2012-02-08 12:25

    Surely NOT!! Should be instant dismissal!

  • Annemaré - 2012-02-08 12:29

    save a country with people like this......

  • Vegi - 2012-02-08 12:34

    The DA is to blame for all the chaos going on in the Western Cape. Drug abuse in that province has escaleted beyond control ever since the DA took over the province.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-08 13:19

      No, wrong. It improved. Seeing that you refer to 'that province" you are not from there and neither do you know. It took the current rulers a few years to sort out the nonsense that was caused by the previous rulers. We now also get accurate info on what is happening relating on the drug problem. Less info gets hide/wipe under the carpet. In respect of more getting reveal and a NATIONAL police that can't really cope with the problem the current rulers got it right to control it better than ever before. They made the community aware and use there help. Yes, drugs is a problem and the consumption is more visible when in between poor areas, but do you for one moment think that it is not bad in other provinces? It just get hide better. Stop playing cheap political scoreboard and rather see where you contribute against this evil decaying poison.

  • Sika - 2012-02-08 12:38

    Hey All you ANC Haters....READ Zodwa Mgwaza, the ANC's spokesperson for social development in the provincial legislature, said it was unclear how Fritz could have been kept in the dark about the matter for eight months. "Substance abuse is a serious problem causing enormous suffering in the province," Mgwaza said. "The DA must ensure the battle against drugs continues unharmed."

  • Zion - 2012-02-08 17:03

    This guy should rather be in jail.

  • tony.calitz - 2012-02-09 08:47

    Am I missing something or is it just a journalistic rule - not a single one of the articles carrying this story on-line show a photo of the "accused". Why not? Surely these high-ranking officials who get caught should be exposed to the public so that we can recognise the baddies? If this was simply another "Joe Public"who was cought the photo would show the culprit & not some vaguely connected item. . . PS - This is yet another example of the hypocrisy that exists within our governmental system and also one which might, in future, not be exposed if the Info Bill is fully applied (except for the fact that this is NOT an ANC official (for a change).

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