Democratic Alliance gives Albert Fritz a day to talk the party out of suspending him

The Democratic Alliance has given the recently fired Western Cape head of community safety, Albert Fritz, 24 hours to provide reasons he should not be suspended from party activities after Premier Alan Winde asked him to step down from his position in the province.

This followed the conclusion of an independent report into allegations of sexual misconduct against Fritz. DA head of the federal executive Helen Zille said Fritz had also been referred to the party’s legal commission.

“The DA takes the matter of sexual impropriety, sexual abuse and sexual assault very seriously and will not hesitate to take swift and severe action when these matters arise,” said Zille.

After the DA receiving statements from four complainants alleging sexual misconduct by Fritz, Winde initiated an independent, external investigation through the state attorney’s office, which appointed advocate Jennifer Williams to the case.

The women, who were interns or staff members in the social development and community safety departments when Fritz was a member of the executive council, complained to Winde about his alleged sexual misconduct, alcohol abuse and grooming.

Williams found evidence indicating a sustained culture of the sexual objectivation of women, underpinned by an indisputable power imbalance. 

“The power differential favours Fritz due to his age, position of authority, political connections and gender. [He] appears to be oblivious to the power dynamics at play in his interactions with young female interns/staff,” said Williams. 

Winde said Fritz had been removed “in line with the powers vested in me by the constitution”.

“I am extremely angry at what appears to be verifiable incidences of serious sexual misconduct by him, in circumstances which in and of themselves were inappropriate,” he  added.

Anathi Madubela is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

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Anathi Madubela
Anathi Madubela is a business journalist with a keen interest in the retail sector.

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