DA denies it tried to suppress ANC debate on Zille

The ANC's Marius Fransman has tried to raise a motion to have Helen Zille removed as Western Cape premier.

FILE: ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The ANC has accused the DA in the Western Cape Legislature of trying to suppress a debate on whether Premier Helen Zille should be removed from office.

Sparks flew earlier when the ANC pushed for the debate to be given precedence on the order paper.

The party's bid to influence the legislature's program was defeated by the DA when put to a vote.

Members of the provincial legislature have a fairly lengthy programme ahead of them and the ANC's motion to have Zille impeached is not on the top of the agenda.

Today's sitting in the provincial legislature began on a fiery note.

ANC chairperson in the province Marius Fransman accused the DA of trying to suppress his motion.

"How does this work honourable speaker that when the DA puts a debate they actually get precedence to debate it?"

But DA chief whip Mark Wiley hit back: "We are allowing this debate and welcome it, but the fact of the matter is the incompetence which the ANC managed this matter is really tragic and typical of them."

The ANC wants Helen Zille removed from office after accusing her of hiring Paul Scheepers, a crime intelligence police officer, to spy on her political opponents and DA colleagues.

Zille says the provincial government hired Scheepers' company to de-bug cellphones, and has denied the spying allegations.

Scheepers has been suspended from the service.