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Winde speaking out on Fritz’s suspension is too little too late, says Pat Lekker

Premier Alan Winde's decision to break his silence on the suspension of community safety MEC Albert Fritz is too little, too late. Picture: Willem Law

Premier Alan Winde's decision to break his silence on the suspension of community safety MEC Albert Fritz is too little, too late. Picture: Willem Law

Published Jan 26, 2022

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ANC Western Cape Legislature chief whip Pat Lekker says Premier Alan Winde's decision to break his silence on the suspension of community safety MEC Albert Fritz is too little, too late.

The province and the country were left in the dark on the exact reasons for Fritz’s immediate suspension. This raised many questions, but it eventually surfaced that the MEC’s suspension was apparently in connection with sexual assault allegations. Four other government officials were also suspended.

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In his statement, Winde said he had knowledge about the allegations towards the end of November, but had advised the victims to file affidavits which they handed to him last week.

The plot in this alleged sexual misconduct scandal within the sphere of the provincial government is likely to thicken as Winde revealed that more victims are expected to come forward.

No charges have been laid against the alleged perpetrators.

Lekker said while Winde’s statement was welcomed, this should have been done upon announcement of Fritz’s suspension.

“This failure by the premier to be open and transparent while respecting the complainants has led to the media speculation and intrusion we have seen in the last two days. The media and the people of the Western Cape should not have to be doing guesswork. Instead we should have received this and more information from his office without compromising the dignity of the complainants,” she said.

Furthermore, Lekker expressed disappointment at the decision of legislature Speaker Masizole Mnqasela’s decision to dismiss ANC Western Cape MPL Mesuli Kama’s request to intervene.

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Kama had written to Mnqasela to request that he instruct the community safety standing committee to probe the speculation and further called on the committee’s chairperson, Regan Allen, to convene an urgent meeting, as well as summon Winde to explain the suspension of Fritz. Lekker said the chairperson had also dismissed the request.

“The ANC in the legislature respects the complainants. We will not probe their complaints. We are not looking for details into their complaints and we respect the processes but we must hold Premier Winde and his provincial government accountable, especially in their failure of how they have handled this matter thus far. Anything less than transparency can be construed as a cover-up,” Lekker said.

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