Zille seeks clarity on 'confidential leak'

2016-02-04 19:47
Helen Zille (Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24)

Helen Zille (Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24)

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Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has written to the Presidency, asking for clarity on the "confidential information" that she is alleged to have leaked.

This after the Presidency issued a statement on Tuesday saying they were "disappointed" with her following a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and the country's premiers on January 19 in Pretoria.

Zille has since said she does not know what confidential information the Presidency is referring to.

The Presidency could not be reached for comment on Thursday, but had previously said in a statement that Zille's newsletter entitled 'Inside Government: Our budget crisis forces a choice between Salaries & Services' had disclosed privileged information. Zille's newsletter was published on Tuesday.

In her letter to Zuma, Zille said while the written presentation was marked 'secret', she was "careful not to include the statistics from that presentation in my newsletter".

"At that meeting, all premiers were specifically requested to discuss the implications of the budget crisis with their provincial colleagues," she said.

According to Zille, her newsletter reported on their provincial deliberations and that it was common practice in the Western Cape "as we believe in the greatest level of transparency possible on matters of public interest, as impending budget cuts indeed are".

"Information that is 'common knowledge' in a sphere of government is by definition already 'public'. On the Presidency's instructions, I discussed the implications of the budget crisis with my provincial colleagues."

In her newsletter Zille said that consequences for the Western Cape was that substantial budget cuts, running into hundreds of millions of rands over the next three years, would be required in order to balance the budget.

The Presidency also accused Zille of having leaking confidential information to the public in the past.

"Previously, Ms Zille also released to the public confidential information from a meeting that President Zuma had convened between premiers and the Independent Electoral Commission [IEC] ahead of the 2014 national general elections," they said.

Zille, however, believed this allegation was also untrue, saying that she only made public that an election date would be announced.

"Although I knew what this date would be, I did not announce it, because that would indeed have been a breach of confidentiality," Zille responded.

Read more on:    helen zille  |  cape town

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