Zille defends newsletter in the name of ‘public interest’

The WC has been criticised by the Presidency for publishing info on a meeting between premiers & Zuma.

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

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says it's in the public interest to release information about looming budget cuts for provincial government.

Zille has been criticised by the Presidency for publishing what it says is confidential information about a meeting between premiers and President Jacob Zuma.

In her newsletter on Tuesday, the former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader wrote that in the meeting about the state of the economy and government finances, premiers were told to prepare for possible downsizing.

Her spokesperson Michael Mpofu says the information was already out in the public domain before the newsletter.

"That we are facing stringent budget cuts. That is nothing new; it has been said time and time again - in fact by Minister Pravin Gordhan himself on public platforms, at press conferences, in statements and in key meetings. So, we're not sure to what that statement has been put out."

Two years ago Zuma's office lashed out at Zille after she tweeted that the president would be announcing the date of the 2014 general elections.