/ 1 October 2007

Rasool calls for probe into ‘agents provocateurs’

Intelligence authorities are to investigate Cape Town mayor and Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s claims of ”agents provocateurs” in the city, and the mudslinging in the media regarding the issue must be stopped, Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool announced on Monday.

”I believe it is time to bring to a close the unseemly exchanges through the media around Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s involvement with Padlac [People’s Anti-Drugs and Liquor Action Committee] in Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.

Rasool said he had discussed with provincial community safety minister Leonard Ramatlakane and provincial police commissioner Mzwandile Petros ”that it is better that no one responds through the media to the actions and utterances of the DA leader”.

”I feel that the ego of one personality should not overshadow the genuine fight against drugs, gangs and crime by thousands in our communities, the South African Police Services and in the public service.”

Ramatlakane and Petros agreed, in disengaging from a media discourse with Zille, to allow the matters in dispute to be resolved through the criminal justice system.

Rasool said he would be asking the Inspector General of Intelligence to investigate Zille’s allegation that senior intelligence sources, apparently ”tired of being misused”, had informed her that there was a plan to infiltrate Padlac with agents provocateurs and that they would distribute guns to discredit her and Padlac.

”These are extremely serious allegations and should be dealt with as seriously,” Rasool said.

He was also hoping the instances in which Zille was implicated in possible illegal action by demanding the release of people taken into custody, would be speedily resolved.

”The Directorate of Public Prosecutions should make a determination as to whether the DA leader will be charged and what the charges will be so that she is either exonerated or given the opportunity to defend herself in court.”

The police should also deal with vigilantism in Mitchell’s Plain in the normal course of the criminal justice process.

”Any other matters relating to the activities of the DA leader where there is any suspicion of the infraction of the law will be dealt with appropriately and not as a matter for public mudslinging.”

Rasool said he was relieved Zille had constantly assured the public she was participating in Padlac in her capacity as DA leader, and not as mayor.

”Given this consistency, I am sure that the mayor of Cape Town will cooperate in my request to [provincial government and housing minister Richard Dyantyi] to assure the public that no public money in the city was used to support any activity of the DA leader and Padlac in Mitchell’s Plain.”

Dyantyi would resolve this question as a matter of urgency.

”I am also awaiting a full police report on their activities in Mitchell’s Plain, especially relating to who has been arrested in Mitchell’s Plain in the last few months.”

Evidence was required to test Zille’s assertion that the police were arresting ”the wrong people” or that ”more anti-drug activists are being arrested than those involved in drugs”.

”At the end of the day we all share the urgency in the fight against drugs,” Rasool said. – Sapa