EXCLUSIVE: AG confirms 'De Lille exposed' post, shared by some DA members, is fake

2018-05-07 15:28
Patricia de Lille (Mayor of Cape Town) speaks during the City of Cape Town’s Rondebosch East land claim handover ceremony. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

Patricia de Lille (Mayor of Cape Town) speaks during the City of Cape Town’s Rondebosch East land claim handover ceremony. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

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Senior Democratic Alliance members have shared a fake Auditor General document on social media, in which adverse claims were made about embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.

News24 has confirmed that the document, shared by at least two DA members of Parliament on social media, is a forgery.

The DA members include deputy chief whip Mike Waters, who is also a deputy federal chairperson of the party, and National Council of Provinces MP Bronwynn Engelbrecht.

The social media post in question includes a picture of De Lille and the headline "Patricia de Lille exposed", before it lists alleged breaches De Lille had made, which relate to MyCiTi bus tenders.

It lists three alleged contraventions of various municipal laws, including the Municipal Systems Act, and draws the conclusion that "De Lille did not exercise her responsibility" in the procurement process of MyCiTi buses.

It is then purportedly signed by Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) Thembekile "Kimi" Makwetu.

AGSA spokesperson Africa Boso told News24 on Friday that Makwetu did not give his signature for the purported document and that their municipal findings would only be released later this month.

"The Auditor General of South [Africa] did not sign or know the origins of the document you are enquiring about," Boso told News24 via email.

"The AGSA will deal with all matters relating to municipal audits when it tables/releases its general report on the audit results of all the country’s municipalities on 23 May."

AG does 'not make findings against individuals'

Makwetu himself told News24 in Parliament that, as national head, he does not personally sign municipal or provincial documents in the way that that it appears on the document.

His office also does not make findings against specific individuals, as suggested in the document.

The news comes during a week in which De Lille's future hangs in the balance, after almost 70% of the DA councillors in the City of Cape Town voted to oust her as mayor in a motion of no confidence two weeks ago.

From Waters' and Engelbrecht's posts in late April, the document was subsequently reposted or shared by at least another four members, two of whom are councillors in the Cape Town and Ekurhuleni municipalities respectively.

Waters told News24 on Monday that he had no idea that the document was a fake. He had simply "reposted" it from social media.

"No, of course I didn't know, if that's the case. I got it from Twitter," Waters said.

The post was an original post from Waters, both on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He maintained though, that he first saw it on Twitter, and subsequently used it on his own accounts.

He agreed that it was problematic, and the issue warranted further investigation.

"Of course [it's worrying], someone is forging the AG's signature, which is obviously in itself fraud."

Document 'not used' in DA's disciplinary against De Lille

Engelbrecht told News24 on Monday that she had seen the document on Facebook originally and decided to repost it, but couldn't say now where she had initially seen it.

She had simply seen the listed breaches in the document, and considered them the same as the ones listed by the party in its official findings. She therefore thought it was a legitimate document that "explained the situation well".

She said it was a "tragedy" when false information was being shared, especially if it claimed to represent the opinions of a chapter nine institution like the Auditor General.

DA spokesperson Natasha Mazzone responded to News24's request for comment on Monday, including a question on whether the document formed part of the DA's charges against De Lille.

"This document is not an official communication of the DA and has not been shared on any official DA platforms, nor has it formed part of the ongoing disciplinary matter between the DA and the City of Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille.

"Any DA leader or member who has shared this has simply fallen prey to fake news on social media platforms, which is quite common."

The party did not answer a question on what it made of the fact that someone had forged an Auditor General document against their embattled mayor in the midst of a fraught battle between the two parties.


News of the City of Cape Town's proposed audit downgrade from clean to unqualified first broke in January through leaks to the media.

The full report however, is still the property of the Cape Town city council and Makwetu's office is only due to release all municipal reports later in May.

The DA has listed its Auditor General findings against De Lille on its official website under their FAQ section on the De Lille matter.

De Lille also cited the post in her submissions made to the Democratic Alliance's federal executive on Wednesday on why she should not be removed, which she subsequently released to the public.

She however, did not make any claims that the document could be fake and only cited it as evidence of Waters' alleged bias against her.

The DA's federal executive is currently engaged with the pending recall of De Lille, having postponed a decision over the weekend, pending legal advice.

The party is likely to make an announcement on Tuesday.

Read more on:    da  |  patricia de ­lille

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