Bid to impeach Zille not political grandstanding - ANC

(Jenni Evans, News24)
(Jenni Evans, News24)

Cape Town – The drive to have Premier Helen Zille impeached is not political, nor is it grandstanding, the ANC said on Tuesday.

Addressing media before the start of the impeachment debate against Zille, ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman said the party believed she had committed a serious crime in hiring Paul Scheepers.

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

On Tuesday, they brought a motion to impeach the premier to the Western Cape legislature.

Fransman said Zille was lying about the reasons for employing Scheepers' company Eagle Eye Technology Solutions, which she said was to debug her phone.

"Every private citizen and opposing political parties must feel shocked about the revelations. The motion to impeach her is not political grandstanding at all."

He said those who knew Zille would know she would never give her phone to a stranger, even for debugging.

The party also said they were not surprised by Zille’s denials of spying.

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

Fransman said Scheepers' tender was too wide and created enough space to do "strange things".

"And the equipment found had everything to do with surveillance and little to do with debugging."

He called the employment of Scheepers a grave offence.

In November, Zille said she had met Scheepers once.

"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.

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

"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...

"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," Zille said.

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