ANC fails to impeach Zille in provincial legislature

The issue was debated earlier this evening, before the motion was defeated in a vote.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Hellen Zille. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC)'s attempt to have Western Cape Premier Helen Zille removed from office has failed in the provincial legislature.

The party took steps to have Zille impeached after accusing her of hiring Paul Scheepers, a crime intelligence police officer, to spy on her political opponents and Democratic Alliance (DA) colleagues.

But Zille denies the allegations, saying the provincial government hired Scheepers' company to de-bug cellphones after the DA took over the province in 2009.

"I never introduced Paul Scheepers to anybody, because I did not know [him]. I did not know he was a policeman and I saw him once, when I gave him my cellphone."

ANC leader in the province Marius Fransman led the charge against Zille.

"Premier Zille asked MEC Plato… he regularly engaged Paul Scheepers. They all knew he was a policeman. To now say you didn't know is a cop out, Premier Zille."

The issue was debated in the provincial legislature earlier this evening, before the motion was defeated in a vote.