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Cape Town - A group of ANC supporters prevented Western Cape premier Helen Zille from speaking at the launch of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone on Thursday, her spokesman said.
Zak Mbhele said Zille, who is also the leader of the Democratic Alliance, was supposed to deliver the welcome address at the launch. President Jacob Zuma would speak afterwards.
“The crowd, which had been disruptive since the beginning, were dressed in ANC T-shirts. Some were bussed in (for the event).”
He said the crowd become noisy when Zille took to the podium.
“It was the intention from the start to turn this event into an ANC party political rally,” Mbhele said.
“She (Zille) said this was a serious abuse of state resources. It is corrupt to use state resources for a party political rally.”
He said Zille called Zuma on Wednesday night to warn him that this was going to happen.
“The function was meant to be an event between the three spheres of government, and it was chaired by (African National Congress Western Cape chairman) Marius Fransman,” Mbhele said.
“This is puzzling because this was not part of his ministerial portfolio.”
Fransman is also the deputy minister of international relations.
ANC Western Cape spokesman Phillip Dexter and provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile were not immediately available for comment.
International relations spokesman Clayson Monyela could also not be immediately reached for comment.
A tweet by Zille said: “The IDZ launch was attended by diplomats and investors. They were disgusted by the ANC's abuse of the event. Jobs down the drain.”