A video on YouTube shows Helen Zille specifically thanking Telkom for sponsoring The New Age’s (TNA) business breakfast event and for “making it happen”, even though the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader announced she was pulling out of such events because she was unaware of the funding.
The revelation comes after a statement Zille issued on Monday that she will be pulling out of TNA’s business breakfast because they are sponsored by public money, amongst them money from the part state-owned telecommunications company Telkom.
In issuing the statement, Zille and her political party further stated that they were under the impression that funding for the business breakfasts was solely funded by TNA and private individuals and companies that bought tickets to attend the events.
She said that is the reason why she had previously agreed to be a speaker at the business breakfasts.
The DA statement reads: “Now that it has come to light that the breakfasts are funded by public money via the SOEs [state-owned enterprises] to the tune of millions of rand, the DA cannot continue to participate.”
“These breakfasts must be very profitable for the New Age, which is owned by the Gupta family, who are in turn vocal supporters and funders of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma.
“It is not acceptable or defensible for public money to be used to bankroll a privately owned newspaper, and indirectly the coffers of the ANC.”
Yet a video clearly shows Zille thanking Telkom for their support of the business breakfasts at a previous installment where she was a speaker. She said: “Mr Clyde Rossouw, representing Telkom, the sponsor of this breakfast today, thank you very much, sir, for enabling this to happen”.
When quizzed by Eye Witness News (EWN) on whether she thanked Telkom for sponsoring the event, she said: “I cannot personally recall thanking anybody… but it was a very long time ago and I have many, many engagements every day.”