Zille yells back over the fence in 'noisy neighbour' feud

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.
Image: Gallo Images

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has accused a neighbour of spreading “malicious lies” about a noisy matric dance after-party at her official residence in Cape Town.

Anthony Williams e-mailed Zille at 3.46am last Thursday after being kept awake by music at the R130-a-head Rondebosch Boys’ High School event at Leeuwenhof‚ the premier’s Gardens mansion.

“The abuse of privilege that this constitutes is evident for us all to see‚” Williams wrote‚ a view later echoed by the ANC‚ which said Zille should be kicked out of Leeuwenhof.

“It beggars belief that you had the temerity to allow this to take place on a weekday‚ let alone at all‚ and that permission was actually granted by both the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town to that effect‚” said Williams.

Zille told this publication she had written to about 80 neighbours to warn them about the party‚ which she hosted at Leeuwenhof because her foster grandson‚ the son of her late housekeeper‚ is in matric at Rondebosch.

In her reply to Williams on Wednesday‚ Zille said she had completed an investigation during which she interviewed every relevant person‚ including a VIP protection police officer‚ Captain Chippendale.

“Your account is riddled with misinformation [to put it mildly]‚” she told Williams. “Please next time do not make unfounded allegations that spread malicious lies in the media [that really have a negative impact on the young people involved].”

You clearly have an underlying agenda‚ which I won’t speculate about.

Zille said Chippendale had confirmed that the music at the party stopped at 2.10am. “I hear that you made a number of threats at the gate‚ about which I could also elaborate‚” she told Williams. “You clearly have an underlying agenda‚ which I won’t speculate about.

“I do not know exactly where you live‚ but if you are anywhere in the vicinity we would definitely have dropped a notification of the party into your mailbox‚ including our offer of industrial earplugs‚ which we made to all the neighbours. This letter was delivered two weeks before the party.

“Some of my neighbours accepted the offer of industrial earplugs and we delivered them. None of them complained.”

Williams told this publication he lived “within spitting distance of Leeuwenhof’s back yard” and had not received warning of the party. “I would never have done this if I had received a letter‚” he said.

He admitted having incorrectly said in his e-mail to Zille that Chippendale had reported being “abused and pelted with bottles” when she attempted to close down the party.

“In her very words‚ she said ‘I was thrown with alcohol’‚ and all sorts of other disparaging remarks at the behaviour of the children‚” Williams said.

He claimed Zille had confused him with “another very irate neighbour” who arrived at the gates of Leeuwenhof in the early hours to complain about the noise. “He is a surgeon who was due to be operating at 8 o’clock in the morning.”

Williams said he planned to respond to Zille’s “false” and “completely unfounded” accusations. “I am going to respond in kind. I think she’s way out of line‚” he said.

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