Johannesburg - DA leader Helen Zille
has again challenged
President Jacob Zuma
to a public debate.
In an open letter released on Thursday, she writes:
"I would like to challenge you to join me in a nationally televised
presidential debate on the state of our country and our economy, particularly
jobs, at a time and place of your choosing."
In August last year, Zille called on Zuma to engage with her
in a public debate on the state of the economy. Zuma turned down the request.
Zille says, in her letter, unemployment has grown from
30.4% to 34% since Zuma took office in 2009.
This is in stark contrast to the statements Zuma made on
his administration's record of job creation and economic management, she
"I believe very firmly that we should have an
opportunity to openly debate these issues together, and to answer questions
from the public directly."
She says a televised debate will strengthen democracy and
"In real time, a live audience would be able to
cross-examine us both about how we would create the right conditions for
economic growth and job creation. Live presidential candidate debates are
becoming common across Africa," Zille says.
Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj would not indicate
whether Zuma was aware of Zille's invitation.
"I do not want to make a comment on that," he