Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she has received a number of “settlement proposals” from the Democratic Alliance (DA), but that in a bid to clear her name she will go through disciplinary processes.
She is expected to announce her legal representative in the matter this week.
“The DA has proposed dates for the hearing and I expect to be in a position to respond to their proposed dates once I have finalised the appointment of the counsel who will represent me,” De Lille said on Sunday.
“In the meantime my lawyers have indicated to the DA’s federal legal commission that I expect the disciplinary hearing to be open to the media.”
The City of Cape Town’s top tier of officials has for months been in the grip of infighting involving claims and counterclaims, investigations, reports and legal action.
Several serious allegations have been levelled against De Lille, who earlier this month survived a motion of no confidence against her.
During a previous special confidential meeting, the City council ordered an investigation into De Lille over allegations that she prevented then city manager Achmat Ebrahim from reporting allegations against Melissa Whitehead, the City’s commissioner of transport and urban development authority, to the council.
Ebrahim subsequently resigned and Whitehead was suspended.
De Lille on Sunday said that she had received queries about whether she was negotiating an exit from the DA.
“I have received several settlement proposals from the DA leadership over the past few weeks,” she said.
“Some of these are already in the public domain— such as the offers I received to take up a seat within the National Assembly. All of these proposals have been initiated by the DA leadership.”
De Lille was adamant she had been wrongly accused of several serious charges.
She referred to the “Steenhuisen report” – a report compiled by, among others, chief whip John Steenhuisen, looking at various allegations about her.
The findings of the report included that residents of Cape Town were losers in a “turf war” between De Lille and councillor JP Smith over the shutting down of the city’s special investigations unit (SIU) and that De Lille believed that she, and not the DA, was the driving force behind the party’s successful 2016 election campaign.
But De Lille on Sunday said she had already been found guilty.
“In the case of the Steenhuisen report I have already been found guilty without a proper hearing or without due process. I am seeking to have those findings reviewed and set aside in the Western Cape High Court,” De Lille said.
She said after decades of service to South Africa, and nearly a decade of service to the DA’s cause, she had built a reputation as a corruption fighter.
“These allegations and accusations have caused me great reputational damage and have damaged our party and our flagship government,” De Lille said.
“Under these circumstances my focus must be to clear my name and to restore my personal reputation and that of the government I have led for the past seven years.”— News24