News / South Africa / Courts

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
29 Jan 2019
3:27 pm

Zille stops Ramaphosa from acting on Mkhwebane’s tablet findings

Ilse de Lange

The Western Cape premier has obtained an urgent interim interdict halting implementation of the public protector's findings.

Helen Zille. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais).

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has obtained an urgent interim interdict to stop the implementation of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s 2018 report, which found she had abused her power to assist her son, a mathematics teacher in Khayelitsha.

Judge Neil Tuchten granted an order interdicting President Cyril Ramaphosa, the speaker of the Western Cape legislature, and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces from implementing the remedial action set out in the December 2018 report.

This was pending the final determination of Zille’s application to have Mkhwebane’s findings and remedial action set aside as irrational and illegal.

Mkhwebane found that Zille had abused her power in assisting her son, Paul Maree, to get the provincial education department to lend him tablets to teach mathematics to Khayelitsha learners in 2014.

READ MORE: Zille should’ve declared help for son – prof Jansen

She gave the president 14 days to comment on her report, which had to be tabled to the provincial legislature “to take appropriate action” in holding Zille accountable.

Judge Tuchten said initiatives of its kind should be supported by the government, especially where it was demand-driven and free of charge.

Zille alleged in court papers that Mkhwebane’s findings and remedial action were unreasonable, adding that she had misconstrued her powers and made material errors of law and fact.

She denied there was any conflict of interest between her role as premier and her supporting her son in borrowing equipment from the Western Cape Education Department, which was used for free matric preparation workshops at disadvantaged schools during the October 2014 holidays.

She said the education department had decided to acquire tablets for after hours e-learning initiatives without her input, and her son had obtained permission from three school principles and the department to use departmental equipment for the work.

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