- Helen Zille, Western Cape Premier has been found guilty of violating the Constitution
- Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has determined that Zille had violated the code of ethics by using her position to secure tablets for her son's programme at a Khayelitsha school in 2014
- The complaint had been brought forward by Cameron Dugmore, an ANC member of Western Cape legislature, in 2017
Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Public Protector has found Western Cape Premier Helen Zille guilty of violating the executive member’s ethics code by exposing herself to a potential conflict of interest.
This follows Zille offering assistance to a workshop programme that involved her son in 2014.
Cameron Dugmore, an ANC member of Western Cape legislature had laid the complaint against Zille in 2017, claiming that the Premier had breached the code of ethics by encouraging officials to allow Paul Maree access to tablets which had been purchased by the Education Department of the Western Cape.
The Public Protector had noted that although the project had benefited numerous pupils Zille had ‘ exposed herself’ to a conflict of interest between her official duties and her private interests.
“So in this instance, she violated the Constitution, especially the Executive Members Ethics Act," said Mkhwebane on Wednesday.
Zille had claimed that her son Maree had offered tutorship to matric students in poor areas while he had been a math teacher in Khayelitsha. The premier says he had offered his service and time free of charge.
She maintains that she had followed procedures in this matter in order to avoid a conflict of interest or government employees feeling that she had unduly influenced them.
The premier had also refuted Dugmore’s allegation that the Education Department had purchased the devices to benefit the project, saying that they had been part of a pre-approved batch meant to be used in ‘after-school e-Learning programmes’.
Zille took the opportunity to question the delay in Dugmore’s submission, asking why he had waited until 2017 to raise a complaint when the incident had occurred in 2014.
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