Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says his office will support the inquiry by SAPS into sexual assault allegations against community safety MEC Albert Fritz.
Brigadier Novela Potelwa, spokesperson for provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile, confirmed police opened an inquiry into sexual assault allegations against the MEC while they wait for pertinent documentation before a case is registered.
Allegations suggest that Fritz, who previously served as social development MEC, allegedly sexually assaulted young women in his office.
Potelwa said the letter forms part of a series of engagements by various parties with regard to the matter raised.
She noted that an inquiry has been opened before a case is registered.
In the letter to the provincial commissioner, the ANC had earlier in the day requested his office to launch an inquiry into this matter to investigate whether the allegations themselves amount to criminal conduct or not. And, to inform those who have lodged complaints to the premier, about the manner in which the SAPS can provide both counselling and assurances of absolute confidentiality, should they come forward.
“We welcome that wholeheartedly, the commissioner has responded positively to our letter into this matter,” provincial ANC spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni said.
Police have encouraged victims to come forward to state their case.
According to Winde, in addition to advising complainants of their rights to lay criminal charges, his office is also referring complainants to an NGO dedicated to the assistance of complainants of the nature in question, having received confirmation from such NGO that such a referral would be appropriate and may proceed.
“This will ensure that every person who complains to my office is treated with sensitivity both within the investigation that I have initiated to determine (MEC) Fritz’s continued cabinet appointment, and in respect of any criminal or civil claim that the complainant in question may wish to pursue themselves,” said Winde.
He stated that the investigation into the allegations will provide assistance on further steps that are necessary or appropriate from an executive perspective.