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Zille could still face the courts on spy accusations

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Although the ANC has failed in a bid to have Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille removed from office, the party’s case against Zille will likely still be taken up within a court of law, according to political analyst, Abdul Waheed Patel. The ANC in the Western Cape on Tuesday failed in a motion to have Zille impeached over accusations the premier hired senior police crime intelligence officer, Paul Scheepers to spy on the party.

But the ANC has also laid charges on the matter at the Cape Town Central Police Station. Patel said only a court of law could effectively have the power to rule whether Zille had violated the provisions of the constitutions. Even then, such a decision could be appealed at a higher court of law if there were substantive grounds for doing so.

“However, in a sense it’s easy for the DA to say to the ANC and the public that this is a PR gimmick because the ANC may have shot itself in the foot by going to straight into this matter before actually having the case heard in court,” he noted.

Patel said it was clear the chances of the ANC having their motion approved in a DA-led legislature were always going to be an impossible task, even with claims of infighting within the DA.

“The fact of the matter is this is a high stakes political game in the Western Cape and parties going into next year’s local government election are not going to compromise on the principle of unity in this stage of the political cycle,” he declared.

While the motion was unlikely to pass, taking the matter to the legislature did offer the ANC an opportunity to have the allegations addressed in a more public space.

He stressed that the allegations against Zille were extremely serious and would create a serious PR storm for the DA if the courts did proceed with and investigation.

“It would be interesting to see whether the ANC is so serious about these claims that they resuscitate them, and push for legal proceedings to commence within a court of law. That would be a costly exercise for either party.

They will be a serious test for the premier in holding office and it will become quite a technical matter,” he added. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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