Social Development MEC Albert Fritz
After surviving an attempted robbery and a shooting that claimed the life of a robber over the weekend, Social Development MEC Albert Fritz says more needs to be done for at-risk youth in Cape communities.

Fritz and his spokesperson, Sihle Ngobese, were targeted by skelms while waiting for a youth event to start at the Assembly of God Church in Nyanga on Saturday morning.

He says moments before the incident, he told Ngobese that he felt like a “sitting duck”.

“It was about something to nine and we were waiting for more youth to arrive and I was just saying to Sihle: ‘Please phone and find out what is happening, I am like a sitting duck’,” Fritz told the Daily Voice on Sunday.

“He was on the phone. Then a guy came across the road and he went straight up to the protector [bodyguard] and he says: ‘Give your f***ing phone, this is not a joke’.

“I was reading my speech on my iPad and as I looked through the window I saw the guy pull the trigger, but then the gun jammed.”

His wakker bodyguard, a police officer from the VIP protection services unit, tossed his own cellphone and as the robber went after the phone, he shot him.

Two other people, including a second suspect, were injured in the shooting.

“I just heard gunshots and I lay in the backseat covering my head, thinking one of these shots must not hit me,” Fritz says.

“We are convinced the one guy was the spotter and they were watching us. The police say it was a bystander but we believe there were three suspects, and not two.

“They will investigate, but we think there was a spotter, a grabber and a shooter.”

Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, confirms: “It is alleged that two suspects tried to rob the MEC and his spokesperson of their cellphones. The MEC’s close protectors fired shots in response.”

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has taken over the investigation.

Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini confirmed an inquest docket has been opened and that two cases of attempted murder are also being investigated.

Fritz, who has received trauma counselling, says the ordeal has “reignited his passion” for tackling socio-economic ills plaguing the Cape Flats.

The MEC says he is still trying to get over the “arrogance” of his young attackers.

“What is stuck in my head is the notion of impunity and the way this guy walked up to the protector. If the gun did not jam, he would have shot the protector,” a relieved Fritz says.

“This won’t slow me down, I believe that we must go back and do more for our youth and tackle systemic crime and my plan is to get more budget for youth programmes.”