Albert Fritz resigns from DA amid sexual misconduct allegations

Former Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, who faces allegations of sexual misconduct, has resigned as a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) following his resignation from the provincial cabinet.

Western Cape DA chairman Jaco Londt confirmed Fritz’s resignation in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape notes the resignation of Albert Fritz as provincial leader and as a member of the party.

“This means the provincial leader’s position is vacant and will be filled at the next provincial council meeting, scheduled for May 2022,” Londt said.

The DA’s deputy provincial leader, Tertuis Simmers, is expected to remain as acting leader until the election.

Fritz quits DA

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Alan Winde fired Fritz from his job after receiving the findings of an independent inquiry into allegations of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse against the former MEC and DA Western Cape leader.

Winde said he was “extremely angry” at what appeared to be verifiable cases of serious sexual misconduct against Fritz, especially given his position as the MEC in charge of community safety.

“It is a shocking violation of his oath of office and the principles of our constitutional democracy,” the prime minister said.

Report findings

The outside investigation was conducted by attorney Jennifer Williams after Fritz was suspended by Winde in January.

The investigation found that there was sufficient credibility in the allegations of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse against the former Western Cape DA leader.

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It also found that there was ample evidence that Fritz created an environment conducive to sexual harassment, or alternatively the sexual abuse of young women.

DA gives Fritz deadline

Helen Zille, chairman of the DA’s federal council, had previously announced that the party’s federal executive had given Fritz 24 hours to state reasons why he would not be suspended from the DA’s caucus and party-related activities.

Zille said in a statement it notes the publication of the independent report on the claims against Fritz, including Winde’s decision to remove him from office.

She added that the case had been referred to the DA’s Federal Legal Committee for further action, including disciplinary action.

“The DA takes the issue of sexual impropriety, sexual abuse and assault very seriously and will not hesitate to act quickly and sternly when these matters arise.

“The DA is also very aware of the responsibility to protect victims and ensure they do not become victims of secondary abuse as a result of reporting allegations of abuse and sexual assault,” Zille said.

NOW READ: Albert Fritz gets 24 hours to say why he shouldn’t be banned from DA

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