Zille challenges Zuma to public debate

WC Premier Helen Zille has challenged the president to a public debate.

DA leader Helen Zille. Picture: Niki McQueen.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Tuesday she is waiting for President Jacob Zuma to decide whether he will take her on in a public debate about the country's economy.

Zille sent the president a letter on Monday requesting the debate.

She said she is worried about the ongoing strikes, unemployment levels and downgrading in the country's credit rating.

"South Africans need a very serious debate on this, to evaluate where the political parties stand and how the future can unfold."

Zille said she hopes Zuma takes her request seriously.

"I very strongly urge the president to enter this debate with me. I'll get the reply when I get the reply, I can never predict when the presidency is going to get back to me. I hope it will be very soon."

Media reports have quoted the Presidency as saying that it had not yet received the letter of request.