'We'll take it day by day' - De Lille coy on pending resignation, wants court review

2018-10-29 18:49
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille at a function of the Cape Town Press Club on Monday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille at a function of the Cape Town Press Club on Monday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille wants to lodge a court application to review the controversial Bowmans reports, which recommended that she be criminally investigated for maladministration, on Wednesday - what would have been her last day as mayor.

De Lille spoke to the Cape Town Press Club on Monday and remained coy on whether she would actually resign on Wednesday, as previously announced.

"We'll take it day by day," she said.

She said she wants to clear her name by having the Bowmans reports reviewed.

"In politics, one day is a long time."

"If anyone of you asks me: 'Are you going to resign on the 31st?' I'm going to tell you to wait for the 31st," she said.

The City council adopted the Bowmans reports behind closed doors during Thursday's dramatic council meeting, which saw De Lille rail against her detractors and dismiss the allegations against her "as racist bully attacks".

Five of her close colleagues also resigned as DA councillors, including chief whip Shaun August, citing alleged DA "racism" as the reason. 

The council's adoption of the report means De Lille, mayoral committee member Brett Herron and some officials would be subject to disciplinary investigations by the City or criminal investigations by the police. De Lille and Herron have criticised the report and pleaded their innocence.

"My emphasis now is to clear my name again. So, unfortunately, I'm going back to court," she said, adding that she wants to do it before Wednesday.

As she has done consistently, De Lille described the allegations against her as a "smear".

"I have never spent so much time with lawyers than in the last 18 months," she said.

"I will not allow anyone to smear my name. I know my rights. I fought in the struggle against apartheid for these rights," she said.

She said she remained focused on her mayoral duties for the past 18 months because "I always said the people of the City must come first".

Asked if staging a public battle in defence of her name was contradictory to putting the people of Cape Town first, De Lille responded: "Am I not entitled to consult my lawyers?"

"Thousands of Capetonians are sending me messages of support. Thousands of Capetonians are praying for me daily," she said.

Patricia de Lille

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille at a function of the Cape Town Press Club on Monday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

She didn't appreciate a comparison to former president Jacob Zuma and recalled that it was she who first blew the whistle on the arms deal and warned people about Zuma.

"It is my right that I can exercise the way I want to," she said in reference to legal proceedings.

She denied that she made a deal with the DA that she would resign on October 31 if they dropped their internal charges against her.

The internal charges - based on the so-called Steenhuisen report - is separate from the Bowmans report.

"Certain individuals are hellbent on getting rid of me," De Lille said.

She said she couldn't fight with "novice politicians" or "politicians who were hardly out of crèche".

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