Photo by: Reuters
The African National Congress (ANC) is set to picket outside Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s private home on Thursday to demand that she "pay back the money" for security upgrades to her house.
The party would also approach Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane with "proof" so that she could investigate the upgrades, said ANC Dullah Omar Region spokesperson Khaya Yozi.
Yozi could not immediately say how many people would join the picket.
Asked whether the ANC Youth League or others were set to join, he said: "Definitely, the leagues and other organisations will be there with us."
The party would also visit an old building in Bellville where it alleged that "R20-million was paid to two companies without doing the work they were supposed to do".
On Wednesday, the leader of the opposition in the city council, Xolani Sotashe, was blocked by the Democratic Alliance from making a presentation to the portfolio committee on safety and social services on the security upgrades at De Lille’s house, and the controversial disbandment of the city’s special investigations unit (SIU).
One document that Sotashe presented to the media stated that "approval is required for costs incurred of installing improved" security measures at De Lille’s house. The total is R702 075.45.
The other is an invoice for R140 139.98 for five "Clearguards" installed at De Lille’s residence.
Clearguards are custom-made protective screens.
De Lille, in a statement released on Monday, said, "Regarding renovations at my house, these were paid for by myself and I am prepared to make the proof of these payments made by myself known as part of the proper legal processes."
The city condemned the "reckless actions" of the ANC in revealing confidential information about her home and videos of where she stayed.
"The executive mayor, like any office-bearer such as an MEC, is entitled to security upgrades at her house which she has lived in for more than two decades," city council speaker Dirk Smit said in a statement.
"With the council’s receipts of the security work done at the mayor’s house being made public, these security features have now been compromised," he said.
Smit said the safety upgrades undertaken at De Lille’s house were based on a risk analysis report and recommendations from a special police unit.
"The report justifies the upgrades, but as a consequence of the actions of the ANC and others, I will have to deploy the city’s VIP protection services to the mayor’s house 24 hours a day."
"The same way any resident would not make details of their security features at their homes known to all and sundry, the sharing of this information has placed the mayor and her family at risk."
The police would have to reassess her house. The council would then have to "redo the safety measures".
De Lille and MMC for safety, security and social services JP Smith were suspended from DA activities on Tuesday, following De Lille’s statement the day before wherein she said she had briefed her lawyers on "malicious and defamatory remarks" Smith had made relating to the security upgrades.