De Lille ‘keeps it in the family’

2011-05-14 15:38

The DA this week sidestepped claims that the party’s Cape Town mayoral candidate, Patricia de Lille, gave a phalanx of her family members jobs at the Independent Democrats (ID).

Neither the DA nor De Lille’s support office could explain how these appointments complied with the DA’s much-vaunted rules and regulations.

Numerous requests for comment were made to the DA’s Cape Town office, but the party’s federal chairperson, James Selfe, said the DA’s arrangement with De Lille and the ID would govern how she appointed people in future.

“The memorandum between the ID and the DA stipulates any promotions will happen in accordance with DA policies and procedures.”

Selfe said the DA had learnt its lesson after working with the National Party and that there would be no formulas according to which ID representatives would get jobs.

“The DA supports the principles of merit and suitability,” Selfe said.

The second aspect that will limit De Lille’s freedom to hire and fire is the DA’s decision that mayors will be required to consult with the party’s federal council on appointments.

De Lille’s DA spokesperson referred all questions to ID MP Lance Greyling.

Greyling said that the allegations of nepotism remained unproven and that it showed desperation on the part of the ANC.

But De Lille is yet to respond to serious claims of favouring family members in the ID.

The Western Cape ANC asked this week whether DA voters could expect the same kind of “nepotism” from De Lille if she was elected mayor of Cape Town.

“They are pretending to be such a clean government,” said Songezo Mjongile, the ANC’s provincial secretary.

The ANC said De Lille’s son, Alistair, was the ID’s finance chief based in Parliament.

City Press established that Alistair was not the head of the unit, but worked as a clerk in Parliament.

Sarah Paulse, De Lille’s sister, is currently an ID MP. She was a member of the Western Cape legislature before being moved to Parliament.

The move was part of the agreement between De Lille and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille that led to De Lille’s appointment as MEC for social development last year.

Paulse’s husband, Desmond, has been De Lille’s driver for years.

The ANC further claims that Sarah and Desmond Paulse’s son, Shaun, works for the Stellenbosch municipality.

He was previously the strategic manager at the Witzenberg municipality, which includes Ceres, Tulbagh and Wolseley.

The Stellenbosch municipality said Shaun did not work for it, but City Press established that he worked there about two years ago as an “assistant”.

Another De Lille sister, Cynthia Jeffreys, is currently an ID councillor in Cape Town. She also serves on the subcommittee for Helderberg.

Her sister’s position as councillor almost disqualified De Lille from standing as mayor because of the DA’s rules that stipulate that a person may not be the mayor of a municipality in which a family member serves as a councillor.

Jeffreys said she withdrew as a candidate recently. Her husband, Vern, also works for the ID.

Vern Jeffreys said he was appointed as director of the ID’s Western Cape office in 2009 and has an office in Parliament.

De Lille’s third sister, Veronica Paulse (who is married to Desmond Paulse’s brother), was previously area manager for Riviersonderend, part of the Theewaterskloof municipality.

The ANC alleges she got the job after De Lille instructed ID councillors in the municipality to appoint her.

Veronica is currently employed as a temporary member of the team that provides support services to Cape Town’s councillors.


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