Scheepers debugged my phone, but did not spy for me - Zille

2015-11-23 19:22
Paul Scheepers (Netwerk24)

Paul Scheepers (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says she only saw provincial crime intelligence police officer Paul Scheepers once, when he was debugging her phone, and did not discuss spying on the ANC with him. 

"They [the ANC] manufactured the story that I and/or the Western Cape government, had hired Paul Scheepers to spy on the ANC, an action which would have been illegal in terms of the National Strategic Intelligence Act," Zille said in her newsletter on Monday. 

"This is an outright lie. It has no foundation whatsoever. In fact when I heard it, I did not even recognise Paul Scheepers’s name, nor that of his company Eagle Eye Technology Solutions.

Read more: 'Spy cop' believes search warrant was for ulterior purposes

"What did emerge, was that the service of Paul Scheepers’s company had been procured by the Western Cape government in 2010, following a cabinet decision to debug our cellphones and install anti-bugging software.  

"Following the cabinet resolution, the procurement process took its course. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I saw Scheepers once, briefly, when I handed him my cellphone and he handed it back to my secretary afterwards. I never once discussed spying or surveillance with him, and that was never his brief."

The ANC alleges that Zille hired Scheepers to spy on the ANC, and laid charges at the Cape Town Central police station against her for "employing a private covert intelligence investigator to execute illegal communications surveillance work on state land and property".

'Ulterior purposes'

Suspended since his arrest, Scheepers faces 55 criminal charges in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court.

These include fraud, tender fraud, violating the Electronic Communications Act, perjury and defeating the ends of justice.

Scheepers believes that a search warrant used to seize equipment from his police office and private business in May was for "ulterior purposes".

He gave his provincial commander sensitive information from three informers on a high-ranking police officer, according to court documents.

He told his commander that the officer "regularly attends meetings with very well-known drug-lords and criminal gang bosses in the Western Cape", discussed "undermining rival gangs and the way of ensuring distribution of drugs", and, on several occasions "received huge amounts of money for the exchange and delivery of drugs".

Read more: Spy testifies over operation to trap crooked cop

He believed the timing of the raid almost two months later was not coincidental.

The police captain has applied to the Western Cape High Court to have this search warrant set aside as unlawful and invalid.

By agreement between the parties on Friday, the civil application will be heard on March 14.

Zille said on Monday that there was a push to "manufacture a scandal" against her.  

'Unholy triad'

She also mentioned Scheepers claim that his "equipment was seized because he had established this sinister politically-motivated web of conspiracy between certain senior police officers, politicians and drug lords". 

"The issue can be traced back to an edition of this newsletter dated October 15 2015, titled: 'The puzzle of gangs, drugs, police and politics in the Western Cape'. In it, I joined the dots linking all the actions that have been taken by the police and the national government, to undermine effective policing in this province," she said.

"I concluded the newsletter with a reference to affidavits, that were scheduled to come before a court of law, claiming the existence of an intricate plot between politicians, police and gangsters to destabilise the Western Cape, thereby helping the ANC to win back control of the province.

"Marius Fransman’s name was not specifically mentioned in my newsletter or any subsequent reports relating to it. But, immediately, and defensively, Fransman [who is the ANC’s Western Cape leader] entered the fray, because he knows that I know what role he allegedly plays in this unholy triad."

Zille said this was given credence by a Mail & Guardian report on Friday that gave details of an alleged meeting at an official Presidential residence, between President Zuma and leading gangsters, in which the President allegedly undertook to “look into” their tax problems, in return for their help in enabling the ANC to win the Western Cape. 

"If the story is untrue, the president must sue the Mail & Guardian. If he does not, it will be more than enough confirmation that it is based in fact," she said. 

The presidency told News24 on Friday that it was not going to comment on the matter, other than what it told the M&G - that the claims were "gossip" and did not warrant a response.

'Truth has come out and Zille can't deal with it'

Western Cape ANC spokesperson Yonela Diko said it was strange that Zille was "risking everything" for Scheepers.

"She has insider cops, these lone rangers on her payroll that feed her paranoia. She feeds them her fears and they endorse it," he said. 

He said her allegations against the ANC and Fransman sounded desperate. 

He said the debugging of phones was not allowed to be outsourced. 

"The truth has come out and Zille can't deal with it." 

He said this controversy would be Zille's lasting legacy. 

"Her legacy will be around these issues of spies, paranoia and corruption. This is likely to be the last story told about her. Her chapter is closing."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  marius fransman  |  cape town  |  politics  |  security

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