Max 'has medical alibi'

2010-02-16 09:09

Cape Town - Advocate Lennit Max, the Western Cape MEC for community safety, said on Monday he had medical proof, which he would present in court, showing it was impossible for him to have had a sexual relationship three years ago with Belinda Petersen, 33.

It also emerged on Monday that he would sue the Son, Rapport and his former spokesperson, Julian Jansen, for slander.

Meanwhile, Helen Zille, the Western Cape premier and DA leader, said a policy on sexual harassment in provincial administration was necessary.

In his statement, Max said there were several reasons, which he would make known during litigation, showing why it was impossible for him to have had sex in his home with Petersen, a former police clerk from Manenberg, as was claimed in some newspapers.

Smear campaign

Max says he felt it necessary to react to inaccurate media reports which were part of a smear campaign against him.

He claimed some newspapers repeatedly referred to four charges of sexual harassment that had earlier been filed against him when he was still the Western Cape police commissioner. In reality, there had only been two such charges.

In both cases, in 1999 and 2002, the charges were laid by people against whom he had taken disciplinary steps. In both cases the charges were probed by an independent investigation team from Pretoria and Max was found to be innocent.

He also denied claims that he had, before the alleged relationship with Petersen, ever represented her in a case about sexual harassment.

He would provide documented proof that he represented her after charges of insubordination and absence from work were filed against her.

Zille and Zuma

He withdrew from the case after she made sexual advances towards him. His withdrawal was discussed with assistant commissioner Raymond Strydom, read Max's statement.

Max also referred to several journalists who were apparently unethical in publishing unproven allegations, although all the involved parties denied the allegations categorically.

After the ANC slammed Zille for sharply criticising President Jacob Zuma's extra-marital affairs but then said the DA would not investigate Max's behaviour, she came back and said the context regarding the two incidents had to be considered, reported Alicestine October.

Zuma defended his behaviour in terms of cultural polygamy although it was proven that extra-marital affairs were not part of Zulu culture. "He also propagated safe sex. There is an element of hypocrisy," she said.

Allegations denied

She would've asked Max to go on leave should he not have recommended it himself.

On the question whether this meant Max was "safe", she said: "It is not safe to make assumptions."

Zille said furthermore that when a colleague in answer to a question, gave her the assurance that he told the truth, it was demanded that she believed him.

"If evidence to the contrary is made known, action will be taken."

Max denied all the allegations in the strongest terms.