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DA gives De Lille until Monday to answer to slew of allegations

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DA gives De Lille until Monday to answer to slew of allegations

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Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille

15th December 2017

By: News24Wire

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Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, who has come under fire recently with staffers making damaging claims against her, has been given until Monday to respond to several allegations she faces.

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

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This 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.

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News24 understands a report was compiled on this.

Resignation rumours

On Thursday, De Lille told News24 that she had received documents from the DA and had been given until Monday to respond to the subcommittee's report.

"I'm still in the process of preparing my response," she said.

After Monday, De Lille said she would be in a better position to elaborate on the matter.

An article which appeared online on Thursday alleged De Lille and City of Cape Town speaker Dirk Smit had been asked to resign by Monday.

But Smit on Thursday said this was incorrect.

He would not divulge anymore information, saying the "document" he had received was confidential.

Murder plot allegations

One of the several matters which the subcommittee headed by Steenhuisen looked into was De Lille's shutting down of the city's special investigations unit.

This move had resulted in a spat between her and mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services JP Smith, who had overseen the unit.

The unit also unearthed shocking claims that some city councillors may have been involved in a murder and that upgrades to De Lille's home may not have been legal.

Smith believed De Lille had gone behind his back in shutting down the anti-crime unit and then ignored him when he tried to find out about the matter.

He made a submission, dated August 20, about De Lille's order to have the unit shut down.

In it, Smith did not directly make accusations against De Lille, but said claims and rumours had been heard from others.

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

Independent investigation

A separate independent investigation into allegations of wrongdoing, including those of maladministration, within the City of Cape Town is also being conducted.

The deadline for this probe is December 29. A full report will then be presented to the council.

This investigation relates to a special confidential meeting held by the city in November.

During this meeting it was unanimously resolved that the city's performance audit committee be instructed to appoint an independent investigator to probe allegations against the executive director of De Lille's office, Craig Kesson, city manager Achmat Ebrahim and Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner of the transport and urban development authority.

The trio were then given seven days to provide reasons why they should not be placed on precautionary suspension.

It was then decided they would not be suspended.

This process resulted in several claims and counterclaims being made against some of the city's most senior staffers.

In an affidavit, Kesson alleged that De Lille had planned to publicly discredit a senior city staffer who questioned alleged tender irregularities.

He also claimed De Lille had asked that a report into a possible R43-million loss regarding another tender be made to "go away".

De Lille hit back via a statement, saying that Kesson's "false" disclosures could not be viewed as the actions of a whistleblower, but were instead a criminal offence.

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