Zille mum on Gupta donation

Helen Zille will not comment on whether she asked the Gupta family for a donation for her party.

DA leader Helen Zille. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille on Monday would not confirm or deny claims that she asked the Gupta family for a donation for her party.

Media reports claim Zille went to the Gupta's, the founders and majority shareholders of the New Age newspaper, to ask for money and came away with a sizeable donation.

The DA leader recently caused a stir when she pulled out of the New Age breakfast briefing because the event was sponsored by state-owned enterprises.

Media reports suggest some of the biggest state-owned companies were paying millions of rands to bankroll the business breakfasts, hosted by the Gupta family.

According to the report, Transnet paid R17.5 million for 18 breakfast sessions and Eskom R7.2 million to sponsor six sessions.

The sponsorships were made between November 2011 and 2012.

Zille said she was not aware of this when she took part in the discussions.

The New Age hit back by releasing a video clip of Zille thanking Telkom during one of its breakfast sessions.

While some have now accused her of being hypocritical, Zille denies this.

"Millions of rands of public funds are being channelled to a private business, under the disguise of sponsorship.

"There's a conflict of interest if a donor gives money to a political party, that then channels state money back to the donor - that is the issue."

She said it is the DA's policy not to reveal its donors.