Cape Town - Financial constraints have hindered axed community safety MEC Albert Fritz from contesting his dismissal from the premier’s Cabinet.
In a “final statement”, Fritz, who maintains his innocence, said: “I have taken legal advice and, based on input of counsel, I have decided and realised that I simply do not have the financial resources to embark upon litigation in the high court, regardless of of the clear administrative and legal injustices that exist. This is something I deeply regret.
“However, as previously stated, I am waiting for the complainants to lay criminal charges as previously indicated, at which a competent test of my innocence will be clear beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Fritz.
Fritz said he would now focus on his “new projects as a private citizen”.
Premier Alan Winde’s spokesperson Odette Cason said: “The premier's office notes the statement, and has no further comment.”
This comes after Fritz had been dismissed from premier Alan Winde’s Cabinet on March 1, in what he called “political orchestration in order to assassinate my character and ensure my departure from political and executive office” due to sexual misconduct allegations.
Appointed by Winde, advocate Jennifer Williams found, through her independent investigation, that there is sufficient credibility in the allegations of sexual misconduct, there is sufficient credibility in the allegations of alcohol abuse, and there is sufficient evidence of Fritz creating an environment that is conducive to sexual harassment or, alternatively, taking advantage of young women sexually.
In a previous statement, Fritz said the past two months have been “extremely difficult, for myself and my family” and said his name, reputation and legacy had been tarnished by the allegations brought against him.
“Despite being promised an objective and fair investigation, my legal representatives were not present during the questioning of the complainants, nor was I ever provided with a copy of their respective affidavits on which the premier based his findings.
“I was expected to provide detailed exculpatory statements without seeing first-hand what the allegations actually were and the extent thereof. This is tantamount to me being guilty and having to prove my innocence, without the courtesy of a complete charge sheet,” Fritz had said.