De Lille eager to have allegations tested at her disciplinary hearing

2018-03-18 15:19
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille (File, Netwerk24)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, says her biggest concern ahead of her disciplinary hearing on Tuesday is to ensure that the public understands what the charges against her are about.

De Lille has been the focus of several serious allegations and claims, but she survived a motion of no confidence last month.

DA Federal Council chairperson James Selfe said the hearing had been set down for four days, and they were hoping they would be able to conclude the matter within that time.

READ: De Lille hearing to begin on Tuesday

De Lille said in a statement on Sunday that she was looking forward to having the allegations properly tested.

She said reports of her being accused of covering up corruption perpetrated by City of Cape Town officials, more particularly the actions of Commissioner for Transport, Melissa Whitehead, were not true.

"In fact, the bulk of the charges concern allegations of highly technical transgressions which do not involve me at all, other than the contention that as the 'boss' of the City, I should be held liable."

De Lille said the charges originated from reports compiled by the Executive Director in her office, Craig Kesson, who is also being investigated by the law firm Bowman Gilfillan.

She denied being accused of corruption in any of these matters.

"These matters are technical in nature and fall under the jurisdiction of senior administrative leadership in the City. Why the party is pursing me on this issue baffles the mind."

She said that in the Steenhuisen report it was suggested that the party await the outcome of the City’s processes, but this had been disregarded.

"I am challenging the Steenhuisen report in court, but I was careful to exclude from that challenge any parts of the report which are the subject of the disciplinary hearing."

She believed decisions within the party were taken by three or four individuals who "rushed around putting different hats on as they go along".

News24 previously reported that, in September, it had emerged that a subcommittee, headed by parliamentary whip John Steenhuisen, had been established by the DA's federal executive to look into tensions and political management in the City of Cape Town.

Several councillors testified and several allegations were made against De Lille and others.

READ: The DA's scathing findings against De Lille

News24 understands that De Lille’s legal team had asked for supporting documents related to the Steenhuisen report, such as affidavits of unnamed City of Cape Town officials who complained about her behaviour.

It had also apparently wanted the original correspondence from JP Smith over the shutting down of the City’s special investigations unit, which led to the unearthing of the claims against her. The scope and terms of reference given to the "Steenhuisen Commission" were also requested.

In an interview earlier this month, Selfe told News24 that the DA believed they had a strong case against De Lille, and that the prosecution was being led by legal commission chairperson, Glynnis Breytenbach.

READ: Voters are fair and know who to blame - Selfe on DA's challenges

According to De Lille, her hearing is expected to be chaired by Tlokwe Councillor Hans-Jurie Moolman, fellow councillor Pogiso Monchusi and former Deputy Minister of Justice in Apartheid South Africa, Sheila Camerer.

De Lille did not believe Camerer was "competent or suitable to hear the matter."

"To the best of my knowledge, she hasn’t practiced law in decades and she is a known political opponent."

Read more on:    da  |  city of cape town  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  politics  |  local government

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