Cape Town - The African National Congress in the Western Cape on Saturday laid a criminal complaint against Premier Helen Zille relating to allegations she made use of a private security company to conduct covert operations.

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs filed the complaint at the Cape Town police station: “It appears that Zille has breached section 3(1) of the National Strategic Intelligence Act (NISA) as she oversaw the appointment of a private company, a private individual, to conduct covert operations which is a national competency… operations that are prohibited by the state.”

Jacobs, reading from the affidavit, referred to recent media reports that Zille’s office had hired the intelligence company, owned by policeman Paul Scheepers, to do a “sweep” of cellphones at the provincial government office in Wale Street, Cape Town.

The matter of Scheepers’s company being hired has not been disputed by the Democratic Alliance-led government. The evidence of Scheepers’s services being acquired is on the government portal which states a tender had been awarded in May 2010 for debugging services worth R115 800.

According to the province, the debugging services were needed as they were certain they were being spied on.

What is being disputed by the province is Zille’s involvement in hiring Scheepers and his company. Her spokesman Michael Mpofu earlier this month denied any involvement, calling it an “absolute falsehood”.

“We reject this claim in its entirety,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu also rejected the claim that there had been a breach of the NISA.

Jacobs, however, asked that police and the Hawks look into the matter, investigating Zille and her office’s conduct and competency.

The matter of employing the services of Scheepers was also concerning said Jacobs.

“That this person is an employee of the state, there is double wrongdoing there,” he said.

Jacobs said Scheepers had appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of fraud, perjury, and contravening the Electronic Communications Act. His case would resume on November 20.