Spat between Helen Zille, Lennit Max deepens

Former WCape MEC denies all allegations made by the Premier against him

Spat between Zille, Max deepens

Cape Town – The DA needed to call Premier Helen Zille to order.

This was according to embattled DA member Advocate Lennit Max, who last week filed a complaint against Zille, who had accused him of giving information to the African National Congress.

DA federal chair James Selfe confirmed to Netwerk24 on Friday that the investigation was under way and would be discussed once party leader Mmusi Maimane returned from overseas.

Last week, Zille accused Max of giving information to the ANC, following a debate between her spokesperson and ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman about alleged spying on ANC members by a company hired by the premier.

In her weekly newsletter, Zille said: "Fransman revealed that the source of the allegations that I was spying on my own colleagues was Lennit Max and Theuns Botha, the former provincial Ministers of Community Safety and Health, respectively.

"They both know that I had no need to spy on anyone. Nor would I... The fact that both these gentlemen are no longer part of the provincial cabinet says what needs to be said, and I will refrain from airing the issue any further at this stage until due process in terms of the rules has been followed."

In a letter to Max, parts of which were published in the Die Burger on Saturday, she also accused him of threatening to leave the party unless he got an MEC post.

This did not sit well with Max, who on Saturday told News24 that he was being made a scapegoat. In a response to Zille, and sent to News24, he denied all the allegations against him, from spying to vying for an MEC post.

"I, therefore, vehemently deny the fact that I have threatened to leave the DA if you don’t give me a MEC position. During our interaction, I repeated myself several times that I was not there to demand and /or pleading for a MEC position.

"You [Zille] were the person who asked me if I intend joining another political party and my response was 'that is not what I told you. I said if you tell me that I have no future in the DA, I should of course consider my options in future'. Hence I made no threat. However, I knew that you will spin this to suite your agenda as you normally do," he wrote on Saturday. 

Max insisted he was nobody’s spook and accused her of ending political careers of black members of the party disagreed with her.

He called on party leaders to discipline Zille.

"To ensure that you stop what you are busy doing in order to protect the DA and black people in the party, the party’s values as well as the interest of the voters’.

"Rest assured that Lennit Max will not leave the DA because of you. The DA doesn’t belong to you. It is a party for all the people, by all the people [inclusive of blacks like me and others who disagreed with you] and stands for freedom, fairness and opportunities," he said.

The ANC in the Western Cape said Zille was driven by conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated rumours.

The party said she was not fit for office anymore.

Numerous attempts to get ahold of Zille's spokesperson failed on Sunday.

This article first appeared in News24 – see here