Mbeki, Zille in heart-to-heart talks

President Thabo Mbeki has taken opposition leader Helen Zille into his confidence on the case of police commissioner Jackie Selebi and on other contentious issues, Zille said yesterday.

President Thabo Mbeki has taken opposition leader Helen Zille into his confidence on the case of police commissioner Jackie Selebi and on other contentious issues, Zille said yesterday.

She met with Mbeki at the Union Buildings for more than two hours and held talks on topics ranging from the electricity crisis to the possible disbanding of the Scorpions.

"It was a very frank in-depth meeting on all the issues of concerns to South Africans at the moment," she said later.

In contrast to their first meeting at Tuynhuys in October last year, there were no friendly poses for the media, and afterwards, Mbeki's spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga did not have any comment.

Speaking to reporters, Zille said one of the issues that came up was the prosecution of National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

"He has discussed it with me in depth. I'm not going to discuss the details because the details will emerge," she said.

She told Mbeki that South Africans did not want to see the Scorpions disbanded.

"There is a lot of scepticism around the decision as to why the Scorpions are going to be disbanded. Many South Africans believe the purpose is to protect high-ranking members of the ANC, and that it is political interference in the criminal justice system," she said.

Zille handed Mbeki a copy of her party's plan to solve the electricity crisis. "We discussed different elements of our respective plans, we discussed the causes of the crisis, we discussed short, medium and long term solutions."

Zille, who flew from Cape Town for the meeting, would also hold talks with Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin and Minerals and Energy Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica on the electricity crisis. - Sapa

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