Cape Town - While delivering his State of the Province address in Velddrif on Tuesday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde placed emphasis on gender-based violence being a “major problem” in the province.
He said urgent attention was needed to battle the scourge in the country and province.
Winde made reference to the sexual misconduct allegations against community safety MEC Albert Fritz.
The suspended MEC allegedly groomed young women in his office. He was suspended last month, after complainants came forward with affidavits.
Winde appointed an independent investigator to look into the allegations against Fritz who also served as MEC for social development.
Following his suspension, Fritz, who served as the DA’s provincial leader, was suspended.
“Currently, in my own cabinet, allegations of this nature have been made against MEC Albert Fritz. I have, therefore, suspended the MEC and instituted an Independent investigation by advocate Jennifer Williams, which is currently under way to determine the veracity of the allegations. I hope to receive this report soon, so that I can consider what action is needed in terms of my own powers.
“It is without a doubt that gender-based violence is a major problem in our province and in our country. It requires our urgent attention. What lies behind it is a culture of violence and of treating people as if they were objects, and not human beings.
“It not only creates immense harm, but it also takes away a person’s sense of empowerment and agency, undermining their ability to chart their own course and to live a full and rewarding life,” Winde said.
The premier committed to playing his part in the fight against GBV, by ensuring that his government did more to end the scourge.