Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s spokesperson, Zakhele Mbhele, alleges that Zille’s statement on the announcement of the election date was made in good faith.
Mbhele says she does not in any way doubt President Jacob Zuma’s competence. On Friday, Zille said the Presidency had overreacted to her tweet that said the election date would be announced.
Zille posted the message on Twitter following a meeting with Zuma, other premiers and the Independent Electoral Commission. But Mbhele says Zille’s aim was to increase public awareness.
He continues to say: “The statement from the Presidency was an overreaction and an irrational one if I may say so. The premier’s intention in tweeting was to aid the purpose of the President to maximise public awareness and to encourage members of the public to go out and register this weekend.”
They are desperate to distract people’s attention from that. I gave away no confidential information and they know it.
According to Mbhele, “Everyone knows that there’s a definitive point for the election day, it makes the importance of the registration weekend much more.”
Zille says the ANC and Zuma are worried about how they are falling in the opinion polls, about Nkandla and about the Public Protector’s report. “They are desperate to distract people’s attention from that. I gave away no confidential information and they know it.
“They are clutching at straws and they are completely overreacting to the fact that I said the President would be making an announcement today,” she concludes.
Presidential spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, has said in a statement that the information was from a confidential consultation between Zuma, the nine premiers and the IEC.