Helen Zille faces impeachment over spy claims

 ·30 Nov 2015
Helen Zille

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is set to face impeachment on Tuesday over claims by the ANC Western Cape, that she spied on the ruling party.

The ANC laid charges at the Cape Town Central police station against Zille, alleging that she hired senior police crime intelligence officer, Paul Scheepers, in his private capacity to spy on the party.

The ANC leader of the opposition in the Western Cape legislature Marius Fransman initiated the process for the impeachment of Zille last week Wednesday.

Fransman said that the ANC believes there are legal grounds to have Zille democratically removed as premier. “The ANC will debate this matter on Tuesday (1 December) and will move for the legislature to kick her out. It is clear that she is not fit for purpose to proceed as premier, that she transgressed laws and that her misconduct in the whole spy saga is so serious that Zille must fall.”

In her newsletter, Inside Government, Zille, said: “Tomorrow, I will become the first Premier in the history of our democracy to face a motion of impeachment.

“It will be tabled by the official opposition in the Western Cape Legislature, the ANC, and debated in the House.”

The premier said that ANC must convince 28 members of the Provincial Legislature that she is guilty of serious misconduct, or a serious violation of the Constitution or the law, or that she is unable to perform the functions of the office of Premier.

“I am fascinated to hear how they will try to motivate (let alone prove) any of the above.  The state has not even charged me, let alone found me guilty of a serious violation of the constitution or the law, or any form of misconduct (let alone serious misconduct). And it will be interesting to see what evidence the ANC will produce to prove that I am unable to fulfill my functions,” Zille said in her newsletter.

“So I go into a debate tomorrow, not knowing what law or which section of the Constitution I am alleged to have violated.  I have no idea what the basis is of any ‘serious misconduct’ I am alleged to have committed. And I have no idea where I have failed to fulfil my functions. It violates the principles of natural justice to make me answer unspecified (yet extremely serious) allegations. But these principles have long since ceased to matter to our opposition party,” the premier said.

Zille accused the ANC of grandstanding, “as they bring a frivolous and vexatious motion that actually undermines the serious purpose for which this constitutional clause was intended”.

“I can only assume this motion was meant to be the culmination of the ‘scandal’ the ANC is trying to manufacture against me, based on claims that I employed a police intelligence officer to spy on our political opponents and/or DA colleagues.”

The fact that the ANC makes wild allegations does not make them true, the premier continued.

“In fact, any sensible analyst should reach the opposite conclusion. Past experience would tell them that previous attempts to manufacture spy scandals against me have been exposed in court as politically-motivated ANC plots. This one is no different.”

Helen Zille’s full newsletter can be found here

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