WATCH: Official linked to axed MEC Fritz probe speaks out

Published Jun 21, 2022


Cape Town - A former Western Cape Government (WCG) employee has broken his silence, alleging that he was not given a chance to respond to allegations made against him in the wake of a sexual misconduct investigation.

Lazola Ndubela, 30, said he was now struggling to find new employment as a dark cloud of uncertainty hangs over his head after his contract was terminated earlier this month, and after being implicated in an investigation that led to the dismissal of former Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

“I wish to break my self-imposed silence and make a statement about my precautionary suspension and inclusion in the allegations made against Fritz … After all of their investigations, the WCG has found no evidence of wrongdoing against me. A grave injustice has been perpetrated against me in a politicised matter. My name has been dragged through the mud for no reason.”

According to Ndubela, he had followed up continuously regarding the investigation which was launched into the sexual misconduct allegations but never received any formal charge sheet.

Ndubela said in January he was informed that he would be placed on precautionary suspension for “serious allegations of misconduct”.

“I was further advised that the exact allegations or reasons for my suspension could not be revealed to me, with the only information given to me being that my suspension was ‘connected’ to the suspension of Fritz,” said Ndubela.

Ndubela said on June 8 he was informed that due to his employment contract, which terminated on June 2, the department could “no longer pursue any disciplinary action” against him and that the suspension “automatically terminated” with his contract expiring.

“They went about this investigation as if I was guilty already as any questions I asked relating to my suspension were ignored.

“They just kept mum and it was like they waited it out until my contact would expire…

“As I now pick up the pieces and look for new employment, it would be reasonable to suspect that a potential employer might ask about the way in which my name was dragged through the mud because of the way this matter was handled. I have written to WCG simply requesting a letter confirming that no evidence of wrongdoing has been found against me. They simply refused my request,” said Ndubela.

WCG Department of Community Safety deputy director of communications, Ishaam Davids said to protect the integrity of the investigation, it was deemed necessary to place Ndubela under precautionary suspension.

“In March 2022, the investigation into the allegations linked to Fritz was concluded.

“However, in the face of witness’ reluctance to testify against Ndubela in respect of the allegations linked to Fritz the department could not pursue disciplinary action in respect of the aforementioned allegations against him.

“At this point, his precautionary suspension would have been uplifted; however, the department undertook further investigations into additional allegations of fraudulent conduct relating to the misuse of government property and/or resources.

“It was thus deemed necessary to extend his precautionary suspension, pending the outcome of the said investigations.

“Ndubela was informed that the allegations of misconduct would be further investigated, and thus he would remain on precautionary suspension until the finalisation of the aforesaid investigations and/or disciplinary process,” said Davids.

Cape Times