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Former DA leaders in a public spat

Helen Zille has accused her former MEC Lennit Max of leaking information to the ANC in the Western Cape.

FILE. Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has accused her former MEC Lennit Max of leaking information to the African National Congress (ANC) in the province. Picture: Stephen Phillipson/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's biggest opposition party leaders are involved in a public spat, which has erupted in heated email exchanges.

Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has accused her former MEC Lennit Max of leaking information to the African National Congress (ANC) in the province.

Max has also been accused of attempting to hold the party at ransom by threating to jump ship if he doesn't get another top post.

The former MEC retaliated with allegations that Zille spied on him and former provincial leader Theuns Botha.

Zille's spokesperson Michael Mpofu says this is untrue.

"I would like to put it on record that Helen did not spy on the ANC. After that statement was made, we were confused as to how this came about."

Max has accused Zille of bullying those who disagree with her in the party.

"When you try to make a contribution to the party, there are obstacles. I said to her and to all of them, I am not here to demand a position. I am not here to plead for it. I am here to ask whether there's a future [for me] in line with the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity."