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Official suspended in Fritz sexual misconduct probe breaks his silence

Former MEC Albert Fritz. Picture: Sam Clark/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Former MEC Albert Fritz. Picture: Sam Clark/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Cape Town - Lazola Ndubela, one of four staff members suspended in connection with the Albert Fritz sexual misconduct claims, has broken his silence to say that despite the province recently terminating his services, he has yet to be informed of details of the allegations against him.

Ndubela said he feels his name has been dragged through the mud and would like an apology, so that he can look for employment elsewhere.

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“A grave injustice has been perpetrated against me in a politicised matter. I have never been involved in the facilitation of sexual misconduct by anybody, in any way whatsoever.”

He said to-date he has no idea what the allegations against him were or who made them.

Ndubela said on January 24 he received a WhatsApp message from community safety head of department Yashina Pillay and was summoned to a meeting at people management in the Department of the Premier.

At this meeting he was told that he had been placed on precautionary suspension for serious allegations of misconduct and that the suspension was connected to Fritz’s matter.

He eventually received an email on June 8, telling him his contract had been terminated and the department would no longer pursue any disciplinary action against him.

He said he had written to the department requesting a letter confirming that no evidence of wrongdoing had been found against him, but his request had been ignored.

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Contacted for comment, department spokesperson Ishaam Davids said the investigation into the allegations against Fritz was concluded in March but that due to reluctance on the part of the witness to testify against Ndubela, the department had been unable to pursue disciplinary action against him.

Davids said at this point the precautionary suspension would have been lifted.

However, the department undertook further investigations into additional allegations of fraudulent conduct relating to the misuse of government property and/or resources, which made it necessary to extend the suspension, and that Ndubela was kept informed.

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He said two of the officials who were suspended were subsequently dismissed and a third official’s contract was linked to Fritz’s term of office. and as a result, automatically terminated when Fritz left the provincial government.

He said it became apparent that the investigations would not be completed in time for further disciplinary action to be pursued against Ndubela, as his employment contract ended on June 2.

Provincial ANC community safety spokesperson Mesuli Kama said he would be pursuing the issue with the department.

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He said all attempts to have the merits of the case discussed in committees were “kicked for touch”.

“We must therefore ask, has justice really been served on the matter or is the DA simply happy that Fritz is gone and no one cares about the truth and full facts?”

He said the biggest casualty in the Fritz saga was the truth, and that the DA had ensured the public would never know the full facts.

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