Suspended official could not be linked to Albert Fritz saga

Lazola Ndubela is fighting for the Western Cape Government to pronounce his innocence. FACEBOOK

Lazola Ndubela is fighting for the Western Cape Government to pronounce his innocence. FACEBOOK

Published Jun 25, 2022


Cape Town - The Western Cape Government (WCG) could not link former employee Lazola Ndubela to sexual abuse allegations against his former boss, Albert Fritz. Instead of vindicating him and telling him that a new witness has come forward to implicate him, new charges were brought up against Ndubela. This meant his precautionary suspension would be extended until his contract ended.

Ndubela claimed this was meant to make him look guilty and ruin his reputation.

Ndubela was suspended with three others for their alleged involvement in facilitating the alleged sexual harassment misconduct by fired Fritz. Those suspended included Fritz’s spokesperson, Wade Seale, David Abrahams, and support officer Michael Kwaaiman.

Abrahams and Kwaaiman were dismissed following an internal investigation, while Seale’s contract came to an end when Fritz was dismissed by premier Alan Winde.

Ndubela broke his silence on the matter earlier this week and is asking that his name be cleared as he searches for employment.

Ishaam Davids, from the Department of Community Safety, confirmed to the Weekend Argus that they could not investigate Ndubela in connection with the Fritz sexual harrassment case and they introduced new charges.

“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.”

Davids went on to say, pending the outcome of the aforementioned investigations, it was apparent that the investigations would not be completed in time for further disciplinary action to be pursued against Ndubela as his employment contract was to terminate on June 2.

“It was definitely to make me look guilty and ruin my reputation,” said Ndubela.

“Had they followed due process or even kept communicating with me at every relevant stage of the investigation, then I would be persuaded to think otherwise. The way they went about handling my matter it was as though they believed I was guilty already and that somehow that gives them the right to violate my rights to natural justice.”

He said that WCG knew that they were frustrating him because he would on numerous occasions beg them to keep him posted.

“All this while my name is out there being dragged to filth.”

Ndubela is keen on forcing WCG to clear his name and has requested detailed information about his charges, who came up with them and affidavits from the witnesses if there are any. “I have written to the department and have requested the information through Public Access to Information Act. I’m hoping to ascertain if these allegations even exist, the nature of the allegations and if did they warrant a suspension because there are other mechanisms available to the department. Suspension is extreme and there must be ground for it.”

The WCG did not respond to questions about why it could not vindicate Ndubela as it could not link him to the charges that were brought against Fritz.

It confirmed that Ndubela had indicated that he would be making a PAIA application. “We will give the matter the requisite attention once received in the prescribed manner. We have no further comment at this stage,” said Ameerah Kenny from Community Safety.

Good Party secretary-general Brett Herron said this made a mockery of the campaign to eliminate GBV and sexual harassment because the evidence was used entirely for political purposes and not to stop the practice, the victimisation or the facilitation by provincial employees.

Weekend Argus