ANC fears DA-Britain ‘plot’

2012-10-21 10:00
Carien du Plessis and Mandy Rossouw
South Africa’s spooks are zooming in on the “suspiciously” cosy relationship between the DA and Britain.

A senior government official, who is also a high-ranking ANC leader, confirmed to City Press that the State Security Agency had increased analysis and surveillance.

The ruling party has been uncomfortable with the closeness between the two parties of late.

Issues that have fuelled the unease in the past three months include:

» A meeting last week between Western Cape Premier and DA leader Helen Zille and British government officials, including High Commissioner Nicola Brewer, where Zille allegedly asked for 10% of all investment in South Africa to come to the Western Cape (Zille denies this);

» A visit by Zille with a tourism delegation from the province to London earlier this month, where she told the SA Chamber of Commerce the ANC would split in the next seven years; and

» Former Zille adviser Ryan Coetzee’s appointment as adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this month.

“There is something deeper than meets the eye and South African security has to analyse that,” the official said.

He said government was concerned that “an aggressive onslaught” from Britain and other European countries would undermine South Africa’s value-based approach to foreign policy.

The DA was establishing international relations to prepare for taking over government after the 2019 or 2024 general elections, the source said.

Another high-ranking government official said the closeness between the British and the DA was similar to the British backing the MDC in Zimbabwe to overthrow the “hostile” government of President Robert Mugabe.

The matter is set to be discussed at the ANC’s third International Solidarity Conference, which kicks off on Thursday.

Zille said the story sounded like an April Fool’s joke.

“Is someone occupying a parallel universe somewhere? Or is this part of the ongoing ‘Zanufication’ of the ANC?”

She said in London she spoke positively about South Africa’s future. She met High Commissioner Zola Skweyiya and “had positive feedback every time”.

She was also interviewed by CNN, the Financial Times and The Economist, among others.

She said the DA’s relationship with Britain was “professional, as with all other governments with which South Africa has diplomatic relationships”.

The DA previously complained that they were being spied on.

State Security spokesperson Brian Dube said the agency “is guided by a need to uphold national security guided by the Constitution and national laws. In this regard, the agency does not interfere in normal political activities”.