Western Cape police open inquiry into sexual assault allegations against Albert Fritz

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Albert Fritz. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
Albert Fritz. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
  • Police have opened an inquiry into allegations of sexual assault against Albert Fritz.
  • The spokesperson for the Western Cape police commissioner told News24 they were awaiting documentation before a case could be registered.
  • The ANC in the Western Cape has called on the police to expedite the matter.

Western Cape police have opened an inquiry into the sexual assault allegations levelled against suspended Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz.

Police say they are waiting for "pertinent" documentation, specifically statements from the alleged victims, before a case is registered.

This was revealed by Brigadier Novela Potelwa, the spokesperson for Western Cape police commissioner Thembisile Patekile.

No criminal case has yet been opened against Fritz, she confirmed.

Potelwa responded to queries about the ANC Western Cape's letter to Patekile, which requested that he investigate the matter.

She said other parties have also written to the provincial commissioner with the same request.

Potelwa said:

The office of the provincial commissioner acknowledges receipt of correspondence from the ANC in the Western Cape. The letter in question forms part of a series of engagements by various parties with regard to the matter raised. At this point, it bears noting that an inquiry has been opened by SAPS while key pertinent documentation is awaited before a case is registered. 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.

READ | Did Western Cape take too long to suspend Albert Fritz after sexual allegations came to light?

"It also begs mentioning that gender-based violence still is one of the priorities of the SAPS. Our specialist detectives located within the FCS units are always on hand to investigate reported cases," she added.

ANC opposition leader in the Western Cape legislature, Cameron Dugmore, believed it could create an untenable situation if Premier Alan Winde presided over an investigation into the allegations against Fritz.

Winde and Fritz are long time colleagues, both in the provincial cabinet and in the DA, where Fritz has served as deputy leader and, until recently, provincial leader.

In his letter, Dugmore appealed to the police to urgently investigate the allegations.

He said:

It would appear to me that it is an untenable situation that the premier is effectively presiding over an investigation of one of his own colleagues both in cabinet and his former acting provincial leader of his party, who faces allegations which may include criminal misconduct. I am also concerned that the manner in which the premier has managed this matter might, in fact, ultimately defeat the ends of justice.

ANC MPL Mesuli Kama has written to both the chairperson of the community safety portfolio committee, Reagan Allen, and the speaker, Masizole Mnqasela, to request that the premier takes members of the legislature into his confidence.

"Mr Allen refused this request. The speaker refused to intervene and try and protect our oversight role," he said.

Furthermore, in a statement, Dugmore said they believed that Winde, who sat on information relating to Fritz's sexual misconduct for more than two months, could be concealing a criminal matter and, thereby, defeating the ends of the justice.

"The premier's own department has since approached the State Attorney to procure the services of an independent investigator to conduct an 'external examination'. No terms of reference have been provided for this investigation as yet," he said.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.

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 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.

READ HERE | Senior DA leaders 'turned a blind eye' over Fritz sexual assault allegations for months

Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais has been appointed to act as Community Safety MEC, while Fritz, the DA's provincial leader, has asked his party bosses to allow him to step aside amid the furore.

Meanwhile, at least one person has come forward offering to testify should the need arise.

Miché Solomon, also known as Zephany Nurse, was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital soon after birth.

The Western Cape High Court, in 2016, sentenced the woman who kidnapped her to 10 years in prison.

Solomon interned in Fritz's office during his tenure as Social Development MEC.

Solomon took to Facebook on Tuesday and revealed her willingness to testify in the Fritz matter - if called to do so.

Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.