UNPACKED: The 8 main accusations against De Lille

2018-01-15 17:56
Patricia de Lille (File, Die Burger)

Patricia de Lille (File, Die Burger)

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Cape Town - Eight main accusations have been levelled against embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, as a result of intense infighting between her and senior colleagues.

On Sunday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced that it had been decided that De Lille should be formally charged and investigated by the DA’s federal legal commission.

He said charges to be brought against her, under the DA’s federal constitution, related to, among other matters, her allegedly deliberately acting in a manner which impacted negatively on the image or performance of the DA.

On Sunday, De Lille told broadcaster eNCA that she welcomed the fact the Democratic Alliance was no longer mentioning corruption charges or allegations.

She had said felt that she was finally getting the chance to share her side of "the story".

"I've repeatedly stated that all I was asking for was a fair chance to clear my name from the aspersions, the allegations of corruption. Nothing was said about corruption," De Lille told eNCA.

Maimane said the charges faced by De Lille stemmed from the following accusations:

1. 'Undue influence'

De Lille is alleged to have acted improperly in reappointing city manager Achmat Ebrahim, "by unduly influencing members of the selection panel responsible for the scoring of those candidates shortlisted by sending members/a member of the panel a text message reading: 'I want to keep Achmat so score him the highest. Thanks.'"

It emerged on Monday that Ebrahim had resigned on Friday.

2. 'Improper appointment'

De Lille allegedly acted in an improper or unlawful manner with regards to the appointment of Limia Essop to the Stadium Management Board, by exercising her authority to finalise the shortlist of candidates to be interviewed. 

De Lille did this "in such a manner as to unduly benefit Ms Essop in an improper manner, involving herself with the finalisation of selection and appointment of members… ostensibly to ensure the appointment of Ms Essop".

3. 'Failed to exercise her duties as mayor'

It is alleged De Lille failed to exercise her duties as mayor by failing, or refusing, to make sure the performance, and allegations relating to poor performance, regarding incumbent commissioner for the transport development authority, Melissa Whitehead, was properly investigated. 

These factors were also apparently overlooked in the appointment process, which resulted in Whitehead being reappointed.

A confidential report by independent investigators from Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys, requested by the City Council and dated December 29, said - based on interviews conducted and other evidence - it was concluded that the allegations contained in a forensic report against Whitehead were "indeed serious and warranted further investigation at the time".

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

This report had found that De Lille, as well as others, may be guilty of gross misconduct "with regard to their failure to report the matter to council as was clearly required".

The independent investigator's report said the 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.

4. 'Did not abide by Finance Management Act'

De Lille allegedly failed to perform her duties in terms of the Finance Management Act and the Municipal Systems Act.

This is because she apparently either failed, or refused, to report irregularities and financial losses relating to the MyCiti bus project to the City Council.

5. 'Unreported irregularities'

De Lille also allegedly either failed, or refused, to report and properly account to the City Council irregularities relating to the bid evaluation process into the Foreshore housing project. 

She, therefore, failed in her duties, according to Federal Council standards.

6. Financial losses matter

De Lille did apparently not take "reasonable remedial and corrective steps" to make sure the City performed its functions in respect of financial losses incurred as a result of the MyCiti bus project and Volvo chassis matter.

7. 'Abusive manner'

It was alleged that De Lille acted improperly, or in an abusive manner, when providing leadership to the Cape Town caucus, "through her words and actions, intimidating and belittling caucus members who do not agree with her".

8. 'Refused to accept official decision'

When mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, was elected as deputy leader of the caucus, De Lille had allegedly refused to work with him.

In September last year, it emerged that Smith and De Lille do not see eye to eye.

It had emerged that De Lille had ordered the shutting down of the City's special investigations unit, which Smith had felt was not in the interest of the public.

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

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