WE REJECT MALICIOUS ARGUS FRONT-PAGE LEAD
We fundamentally reject the malicious allegations in the Cape Argus front-page lead story of today.
The report – which is clearly politically motivated – tries to paint a picture of irresponsible use of public resources by Western Cape Ministers, while failing to substantiate these claims.
Western Cape Government Ministers are guided and act within the confines of legislation and the regulations set out in the Ministerial Handbook.
The Western Cape Ministerial Handbook, the most progressive in South Africa after being reviewed by this administration, enables the frugal use of public resources while taking into account the practicalities of the heavy schedule of Ministers in government. This balance is carefully struck.
The reported allegations of abuse are therefore unfounded, malicious and must be rejected with the contempt it deserves.
It is also concerning that the Argus cynically refers to a recent tragic event where Minister Albert Fritz and his colleagues were held at gun point outside a community hall. It is unclear whether the Argus was trying to suggest that Minister Fritz should not have been in that area or whether his protectors should not have taken the necessary steps to ensure the Minister’s safety. Whatever the motivation, it was distasteful and uncalled for.
Our Ministers will continue to diligently serve the people of the Western Cape who have given this government a mandate to do so, within the confines of the Ministerial handbook and the regulations pertaining to SAPS VIP Protection Protocols.
Agenda driven reporting by the Argus, and its sister publication, the Cape Times, will not deter us from building a capable state.
Statement issued by the Office of the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, 7 October 2017