Fritz saga: plot thickens over misconduct allegations

Western Cape Government employee Lazola Ndubela

Western Cape Government employee Lazola Ndubela

Published Jun 22, 2022


Cape Town - After speaking out about his suspension following allegations into a sexual misconduct probe in disgraced Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz’s office, former Western Cape Government (WCG) employee Lazola Ndubela said new allegations of “financial misconduct” have also not been clarified.

Ndubela this week spoke up for the first time about him not having been given a chance to respond to allegations made against him in the wake of a sexual misconduct investigation – launched initially against axed Fritz.

The department has since revealed that further investigations led them to “additional allegations of fraudulent conduct relating to the misuse of government property and/or resources”.

“I was informed of the allegations of financial misconduct but even with the new allegations against me, nobody had told me what the allegations were related to. It has been so vague, just as it has been from the beginning.

“This could have been due to a lunch expense that was not declared but I have no clarity on what the allegations were and what the outcomes of that investigation were despite it having been concluded prior to my contract ending with the WCG.

“I have no answers and deserve closure. The investigations were complete before my contract expired, they are lying. There was an outcome and this is why I have asked for a letter to confirm that if nothing was found that I am absolved of any allegations.

“And if it was that something was found, they must say exactly what the findings were and that steps could not be taken due to my contract ending, instead of just keeping quiet,” said Ndubela.

WCG Department of Community Safety deputy director of communications, Ishaam Davids, said: “The nature of the relationship was one of employer and employee. The Department provided information yesterday and can unfortunately not provide any further information at this time.”

Further enquiries to the WCG about the allegations of financial misconduct which was being investigated prior to Ndubela’s employment contract expiring had not been answered.

According to Ndubela, another colleague who had also been placed on precautionary and further suspension while investigations continued, had received a letter absolving him of any wrongdoing.

“It took four months and they have not been able to give me any clarity on the initial allegations and investigation and also not on the further allegations – if any even existed. But from the start everything was very vague. What was so complex about my matter that there was no resolution before my contract expired despite continuous follow ups?” said Ndubela.

Ndubela has maintained his innocence after the department probed sexual allegations against Fritz.

“The narrative that certain staff, me included, facilitated sexual misconduct by organising trips to rural towns and plying young girls with alcohol bought with government money is a lie. These were all adult women who, out of their own volition, generally bought their own alcohol with their own money for consumption after-hours.

“Nobody was forced to consume alcohol. Often-times, some staff would fraternise, while others in the group would retire to their rooms at the venues we stayed at. At all times, the work of the Department was carried out during working hours with great professionalism,” said Ndubela.

Cape Times