Claims are a malicious attack on my integrity - De Lille

2017-11-23 21:03
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Gallo Images)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says scathing allegations against her, which became public after a confidential special council meeting on Tuesday, are a malicious attempt to attack her as a whistleblower.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Craig Kesson, the executive director in her office, had made various allegations against De Lille, including that she planned to publicly discredit a senior City staffer, who questioned alleged tender irregularities, and asked that a report into a possible R43m loss regarding another tender be made to "go away".

These allegations are contained in a 42-page affidavit by Kesson.

It is among a set of documents, relating to the special council meeting, which the City has made public in the interest of transparency.

READ: 'Bullying' De Lille wanted alleged tender irregularity report to 'go away' - executive director

On Thursday, De Lille issued a statement saying several stories had appeared in the media based on the documents made public.

Malice and sensation

"As it pertains to the affidavit, this is a malicious attempt to attack my integrity and track record as a whistleblower and corruption fighter in South Africa," she said.

"This is sensation."

On Tuesday, the council held a special confidential meeting and unanimously resolved that the City’s audit and performance audit committee be instructed to appoint an independent investigator to probe allegations against Kesson, City manager Achmat Ebrahim and Melissa Whitehead,  the commissioner of the transport and urban development authority. 

Documents relating to this meeting were uploaded to the City’s website later on Tuesday.

Kesson’s affidavit was among these and it contains allegations mainly against De Lille.

De Lille said her lawyers were compiling a comprehensive response to the allegations against he, which would be made public once complete.

'Bring proof of corruption'

"I challenge those who seek to attack my track record to bring any proof that I benefited personally from any corruption or tenders," she said.

De Lille said she wanted to remind South Africans that, under her leadership, the City of Cape Town had received four consecutive clean audits. She added that the City was the only municipality in the country to have done so.

"In the meantime, I stand resolute in my commitment to serve the people of Cape Town and I will not be distracted by these attempts to discredit my reputation as a corruption fighter," De Lille said.

Divisions in City of Cape Town

Her reaction on Thursday to the allegations against her has again highlighted deep-rooted mistrust and infighting among some of the City’s most senior officials.

READ: More info leaks and unauthorised investigation claims rock City of Cape Town

In September, tensions surfaced between De Lille and mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services JP Smith.

It emerged that De Lille had ordered the shutting down of the City of Cape Town's special investigations unit (SIU).

Smith oversees the unit, which now has a new mandate.

Claims relating to the unit and against De Lille had been contained in a submission, dated August 20, which Smith made.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Murder, irregularity claims surface after De Lille 'shuts down' City of Cape Town investigative unit

In it, Smith did not directly make accusations against De Lille, but said claims and rumours from others had been heard - the claims included that some City councillors may have been involved in a murder and that building done at her home may not have been legal.

In October, the DA placed both De Lille and Smith on special leave from party activities in the Cape metropole because of the spat.

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

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