Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says she is disappointed and “surprised” by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings against Western Cape premier Helen Zille. Motshekga’s open support of Zille is almost unheard of in South African political life — where the opposition and ruling party are often openly antagonist towards each other. Mkhwebane said on Wednesday that Zille, the former leader of the DA, was guilty of a “conflict of interest” because she facilitated the loan of tablets for her son’s extra maths teaching in disadvantaged Western Cape schools. “How can you say it’s a conflict of interest when it’s in the public interest?” Motshekga told Business Day on Thursday. “My fear is that … children of politicians will now be barred from doing community work. I feel that this is about picking on Zille’s child because he is the son of a politician … This cannot be fair.” Mkhwebane found that Zille had exposed herself to a potential conflict in 2014 by assisting Paul Ma...

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