- The Western Cape government is in full support of a police inquiry into the sexual assault allegations against Albert Fritz.
- Alan Winde is expected to meet with advocate Jennifer Williams, who has been appointed by the State Attorney's Office.
- No criminal case has, as yet, been opened against Fritz.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says his government supports any inquiry by police into the sexual assault allegations levelled against suspended Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz.
Winde says the independent investigation into the veracity of the allegations, which has now been established through the State Attorney, will guide his decisions from an executive perspective.
"I also fully support the South African Police Service's reminder that their doors remain open to the complainants. I have echoed this call to the complainants directly and note that it remains their choice to lay charges – one which we must all respect," Winde said.
READ | Western Cape police open inquiry into sexual assault allegations against Albert Fritz
On Thursday, Western Cape police announced they had opened an inquiry.
However they were waiting for "pertinent" documentation, specifically statements from the alleged victims, before a case could be registered.
No criminal case has, as yet, been opened against Fritz.
"In addition to advising the complainants of their rights to lay criminal charges, we are also referring complainants to an NGO dedicated to the assistance of complainants of the nature in question, having received confirmation from such NGO that such a referral would be appropriate and may proceed.
"This will ensure that every person who complains to my office is treated with sensitivity, both within the investigation that I have initiated to determine Minister Fritz's continued cabinet appointment, and in respect of any criminal or civil claim that the complainant in question may wish to pursue themselves," said Winde.
Winde is expected to meet with Jennifer Williams, an independent advocate, who has been appointed through the State Attorney to conduct an external investigation into the veracity of the allegations made against Fritz.
"I will also provide her with the details around the actions, steps I have taken to date. This information should then enable her to begin her investigation immediately.
"Once she does so, I do not foresee myself having a further role to play in that aspect, until I receive her report into the veracity of the complaints. She will, however, be offered my full support, as well as that of the Western Cape government," he said.
READ | Senior DA leaders 'turned a blind eye' over Fritz sexual assault allegations for months
Fritz, his spokesperson, Wade Seale, the head of the community safety ministry, David Abrahams, support officer Michael Kwaaiman and another official, Lazola Ndubela, have been suspended, pending the investigation.
It is understood that the complainants – most of whom are interns in Fritz's office and others involved in the Expanded Public Works Programme - implicated several colleagues who work in the ministry in alleged acts of grooming and of intoxicating victims before they were allegedly sexually abused.
Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais has been appointed to act as Community Safety MEC.
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