DA LEADER and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille celebrated her 60th birthday yesterday by meeting the National Intelligence Agency to establish whether she was being spied on.
On Tuesday, Zille told the Western Cape Legislature that her phone calls were being monitored. Yesterday, she issued a statement detailing how – on January 8, 2008 – her husband, Johann Maree, came across a recording of a conversation she had.
“My husband, Johann, answered the phone on my desk in my study. He heard the sound of tapes rewinding and clicking. He then heard a tape recording of conversations that I had had in the room,” she said.
The couple went to see former minister of National Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils to investigate, but he found there was no official directive to monitor her. Yesterday, Kasrils said he had told Zille he could not guarantee that “rogue elements” were not responsible for monitoring her.
The Ministry of State Security said Zille was assured in 2009 the government was not responsible for spying on her. “We are very saddened by such claims coming from her, given that our Western Cape office works very closely with her office, providing intelligence products to support the work of government.”
But in a radio interview yesterday, Zille said she had an affidavit from a police officer who confirmed she had been tasked with monitoring all Zille‘s telephone conversations from an office in Bonteheuwel for two years.
Zille noted that during the controversial Erasmus Commission of Inquiry – set up by former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool in 2007 to establish alleged unlawful activities in the City of Cape Town – police had a full record of every phone call she had made over a certain period. She was mayor at the time.
Zille said she believed the monitoring of her calls was part of a “politically motivated strategy against me”.
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