W Cape ANC lays charge against Zille

2012-11-21 20:22
Helen Zille (Picture: Sapa)

Helen Zille (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The ANC in the Western Cape laid an incitement charge against provincial Premier Helen Zille on Wednesday afternoon, saying she "fuelled the flames" in recent farmworker protests.

African National Congress provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile, provincial legislature Chief Whip Pierre Uys and Boland party chair Pat Marran laid the charge at the Cape Town central police station at 13:00.

The party wanted the state to investigate the "intentions" behind Zille's actions during recent protests by farmworkers in the Boland.

"There are clear indications that the Democratic Alliance (DA) played a role in fanning and fuelling the flames during this very unfortunate time," Mjongile said.

"It spread lies, [and] got people who are already overly excited and trigger-happy to resort to all sorts of tactics."

The labour action began in De Doorns at the start of the month when table grape harvesters demanded a daily wage of R150 and improved living conditions. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day.

The protests turned violent and spread to 15 other towns, resulting in two deaths and extensive damage to property.

Workers recently agreed to suspend the strike until 4 December on condition that the sectoral determination for agriculture be looked at by the Employment Condition Commission.


The ANC criticised Zille for her conduct and social networking messages during this time.

Zille said in one tweet that the protest was being fuelled by a rift between seasonal workers from Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

She wrote: "Complex dynamics in De Doorns. Lesotho seasonal workers no longer employed, but Zim workers legally employed due to amnesty. Huge tension."

The party said Zille was not only creating a deeper rift between workers but apparently contradicting a previous statement in which she said a political agenda was the reason for the protests.

She was also attacked for a tweet on Tuesday in which she asked whether Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant had returned from her overseas trip.

Oliphant was out of the country during the protests.

"This proves the disingenuous messages and accusations that inflamed more tensions than assisting to defuse the situation," Mjongile said.

Zille's spokespeson Zak Mbhele said on Wednesday that the premier was innocent of any incitement.

'Illegal' labour

"Nothing about what the premier said concerning De Doorns was incitement; it was simply stating the facts of the situation," he said.

He said the "facts" were that many seasonal workers in that area came from Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Most Zimbabweans were legalised as a consequence of the recent amnesty. This did not apply to the workers from Lesotho.

"There is thus a rift and contestation along this 'fault line'. Farmers have been very heavily fined for employing 'illegal' labour, so they no longer do so."

As a result, many people were left without jobs.

Mbhele said Zille found these facts out when speaking to Sotho-speaking people during an official visit on 8 November.

Zille left De Doorns after people became rowdy during her walkabout in the protest-hit area. She rejected reports at the time that protesters had chased her away.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions in the province called on Tuesday for the ANC and opposition parties to table a motion of no confidence in Zille.

She welcomed the call, saying her party would gladly debate it at the first opportunity.


Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  cape town  |  politics  |  farmworker protests

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.