City of Cape Town saga - Will De Lille survive the weekend?

2018-01-12 15:59
Patricia de Lille (Gallo Images)

Patricia de Lille (Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - Months of shocking allegations and claims being made among the City of Cape Town's leadership are set to come to a head this weekend with Mayor Patricia de Lille possibly being shown the door.

But the ructions are not expected to end there.

If De Lille is told the DA no longer wants her as the mayor of Cape Town, she may take legal action to counter this.

On Sunday the DA's federal executive is expected to consider details about De Lille and why she believes she should not resign.

Mayoral committee could collapse

It may also emerge whether or not a motion of no confidence in her will be held.

News24 understands that if a motion is heard and its found there is no confidence in De Lille, she could be removed.

This could then mean the current mayoral committee will collapse.

The newly appointed mayor would then have to appoint a new committee.

Since September 2017 De Lille has come under fire with several allegations being leveled against her and other senior staffers. Allegations include that she did not want irregularities relating to a City transport head from being brought before the council.

READ: 5 scandals that have recently rocked the City of Cape Town

In September, it emerged that a subcommittee, headed by parliamentary whip John Steenhuisen, was established by the DA's federal executive to look into tensions and political management in the City of Cape Town.

The subcommittee, convened by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, had started its hearings on October 3.

It is understood that several councillors testified in the hearings and that several allegations were made against, among others, De Lille. A report from that subcommittee was compiled based on this.

De Lille's reasons as to why she should not resign as mayor apparently relate to the Steenhuisen report.

'De Lille must go'

On Wednesday the DA's Western Cape executive announced it wanted her removed as mayor.

De Lille had hit back saying it showed the regional executive's "rush" to get rid of her.

"It illustrates my previous position that these attacks on me have been about power and positions all along," she had said.

On December 14 the DA's federal executive suspended De Lille from party activities pending the outcome of ongoing investigations into allegations she faced and asked her to give reasons why she should not resign as mayor. 

It is these reasons that are also set to be deliberated by the federal executive on Sunday.

In response to her suspension, De Lille had said the DA shared its reason for this, but that she believed these "do not warrant my suspension nor my removal".

De Lille may consider legal action

"I have made no secret of the fact that I will consider legal action if the DA decides to remove me from my position as the Mayor of Cape Town," De Lille had said in December.  

"I remain hopeful that we will be able to dissuade FedEx from taking the drastic step of initiating a motion of no confidence in me.  But if we cannot do so, I would naturally have to consider alternatives to defend my reputation of a lifetime of fighting against corruption and addressing inequality in our society."

Suspension saga

Previously during a special confidential council meeting it was ordered that independent investigators probe allegations leveled against, among others, De Lille, City manager Achmat Ebrahim and Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner of the transport and urban.

Last Friday during a confidential council meeting an investigation into De Lille was ordered because of allegations, which surfaced during the independent investigation, that she prevented Ebrahim from reporting to the council allegations against Whitehead.

Both Ebrahim and Whitehead were given until this Friday to submit reasons as to why they should not be suspended.

By midday on Friday it was not yet clear whether or not they would be suspended.

Allegations investigated

Independent investigators from Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys had investigated allegations the three faced and compiled a report on what they had found.

This report, which the City has kept confidential, found she may be guilty of gross misconduct for allegedly advising Ebrahim that he need not report to the City council an allegation of misconduct against Whitehead.

READ: Confidential report reveals De Lille may be ‘guilty of gross misconduct’

These allegations related to alleged irregularities involving payments to the companies Volvo and Scania for bus chassis.

The Bowman Gilfillan report said a forensic report presented prima facie evidence that "the Commissioner (Whitehead) was involved in irregular expenditure in relation to payments in the aggregate amount of R43 801 807.06 made to Volvo for 29 bus chassis".

It also found that payments totalling R29 584 368 made to Scania for 24 bus chassis during June 2014 were irregular.

De Lille last week said she was seeking legal advice over the Bowman Gilfillan report because she said there were factual inaccuracies in it. She said she had pointed out the inaccuracies, but that that these were not rectified.

Read more on:    da  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town

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