ANC wants Department of Social Development to conduct own probe into Fritz allegations

Axed MEC of community safety Albert Fritz

Axed MEC of community safety Albert Fritz

Published Oct 19, 2022


Cape Town - The ANC in the legislature wants the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) to open its own investigation into sexual harassment allegations into former community safety MEC Albert Fritz.

Fritz was Social Development MEC until 2019 and there have been claims that allegations against him, which emerged publicly in January when he was suspended as an MEC, were known about during that era.

Social development standing committee member Gladys Bakubaku-Vos (ANC) moved the resolution at the end of a meeting yesterday to discuss the department’s annual report for the 2021/22 financial year.

Bakubaku-Vos wanted to know whether any investigations had been done at the Department of Social Development or whether the focus had only been on those reported cases at the Department of Community Safety.

The resolution will be considered at the next meeting of the standing committee where a decision will be taken on whether to adopt it.

Earlier Bakubaku-Vos accused department head Robert MacDonald of dodging requests to appear before the committee to say what he knew about the allegations.

“I asked the question originally and I am still waiting for an answer from the department head. The committee chairperson had committed to scheduling a meeting, and it never happened.”

Committee chairperson Dan Plato (DA) said he would not speak about the invitation to MacDonald and that the issue had been aired in the legislature at more than one debate.

Saying he was “willing and available” to answer the committee’s questions, MacDonald, however, referred the query to Mobility MEC Daylin Mitchell, who was standing in for Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez during the meeting.

Mitchell said the Fritz issue was unrelated to the discussion about the annual report’s foreword and said the committee should not get bogged down in it.

This reply upset committee member Rachel Windvogel, who accused Mitchell of arrogance.