Senior officials who allegedly ‘groomed’ women for Fritz also suspended – report

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The fallout after the allegations of sexual assault levelled against the DA leader in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, continues. Premier Alan Winde suspended Fritz, who also serves as the MEC for Community Safety in the province, on Sunday, 23 January.

MEMBERS OF FRITZ’S DEPARTMENT SUSPENDED

According to News24, which broke the alleged sexual assault story, four senior officials from Fritz’s ministry were also suspended because of their involvement in the alleged sexual abuse.

The report said the implicated officials are accused of procuring and grooming women for Fritz. They would also – at times – allegedly get the women drunk. This would normally take place when the department visited smaller towns in the province.

Most of the alleged victims are believed to be interns in the MEC’s office and employees of the Expanded Public Works Programme.

Winde announced Fritz’s suspension late on Sunday with a short statement, which did not shed much light on the nature of the allegations. “I have summoned the [MEC] and informed him of these allegations, as well as my decision to suspend him with immediate effect, which he has accepted.”

The Premier said an investigation into the allegations was underway and the suspended MEC had said he would cooperate.

On Monday, several sources and media reports alleged that Fritz was accused of sexually abusing more than one younger employee in his department.

Winde appointed the MEC of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, as Fritz acting replacement, while the investigation continues.

The under-fire politician also stepped down from his role as leader of the DA in the province “until the end of February.”

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