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Investigator: Fritz accused of inappropriate touches, kisses and sex

The Western Cape Legislature briefed on the investigative report that resulted in the axing of Albert Fritz following allegations of sexual misconduct. Picture - File

The Western Cape Legislature briefed on the investigative report that resulted in the axing of Albert Fritz following allegations of sexual misconduct. Picture - File

Published Mar 2, 2022

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FOUR women levelled eight claims of sexual misconduct against disgraced Albert Fritz that ranged from inappropriate sexual comments, touches, kisses and sex that sometimes occurred on work trips.

This came out during the sitting of the Western Cape Legislature’s standing committee on community safety to discuss the investigative report commissioned by the provincial government into the validity of the claims that surfaced in January.

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Fritz was fired as MEC for Community Safety on Tuesday following the release of the report to premier Alan Winde. He later resigned from the DA, claiming the entire investigative process was not fair.

Advocate Jennifer Williams, Winde and officials from the Department of Community Safety members faced a number of grilling questions from members of the legislature on the process, content and outcome of the investigation.

But before proceedings could get underway, the non-disclosure of the full report to the committee irked members who questioned why they were not given the 81 page document.

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Williams, who claimed that she had received messages from around three or four people warning her off the investigation, said maintaining confidentiality was important.

Williams cautioned against the release of the full report stating that the rights of not only the complainants, but those of Fritz needed to be respected.

“I myself received messages from members of all different political parties and factions, also trying to intimidate me to back off and not proceed with the investigation. We need to be aware in that context and setting that it was very difficult for these complaints to come forward and give their versions,” she said.

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Williams told the committee that she investigated allegations that stemmed from four years ago and spoke to the four main complainants and other witnesses from both sides.

“The complaints gave me a set of allegations ranging from February 2018 to February 2021. There were four primary complaints and eight allegations which I provided to Fritz in detail with regards to what happened,” she said.

“I met with Fritz and his legal representative to give him an opportunity to deal with the allegations. The allegations range from inappropriate sexual comments to inappropriate touching of the complainants, attempts to kiss and kissing without consent as well as sexual intercourse. The (complaints) range over a period of a number of years and a number of incidents. The exact details will give away the details of the complainants and prejudice any future criminal complaints.”

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During question and answer sessions, William revealed that one of the complainants was under the age of 21 and some of them were still employed by the provincial government.

Williams said while her conclusion was not about establishing guilt,there was enough credibility to the claims. She also dismissed Fritz's claims that this was nothing but a political ploy against him.

“It is simply the result of a fact finding exercise weighing up the facts before me which included video evidence and WhatsApps and these were provided by Fritz and the complaints to reach a conclusion that there was sufficient credibility to these allegations,” she added.

“They are not rumours that can simply be dismissed, there is some truth to them. The defence that was provided did not adequately or substantively address the nature and detail of the allegations. The defence that there was a political conspiracy was essentially to be found to be not likely because of the nature of the complaints (which were) over a period of time and the logistical number of people who would have had to give identical stories of incidents which showed a pattern of conduct which was of some concern.”

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