Outgoing Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Sunday announced a campaign to clear her name, including suing entrepreneur Anthony Faul for R1-million for defamation.
She said she was notified by the Hawks that the National Prosecuting Authority had considered the evidence regarding a case of bribery made against her by Faul, and had made a decision not to prosecute her.
“The allegations made by Faul are patently false and were a vicious attack on my good name and reputation. As such, they were defamatory in the extreme and I have instructed my lawyers to pursue a defamation case against him for R1-million.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) had reportedly helped Faul lay a criminal case against her for allegedly trying to solicit a R5-million bribe, more than five years ago, for the supply of fire extinguishers to Imizamo Yethu.
“What has happened to me and the DA mustn’t happen to any public representative again,” De Lille said on Sunday.
“To date I have not been found guilty of anything that I have been accused of. I have always said that the truth will always survive and that I am not afraid to subject myself to any due process to properly test the allegations against me, open to the public and the media.”
She said further announcements will follow in the next few weeks.
Infighting between the outgoing mayor and senior members of the DA Cape Town caucus has raged over the last year over allegations of misconduct on her part.
Several attempts to remove De Lille failed. In August this year, she announced that she would resign, effective from October 31. At the time, the party then announced it would drop all internal disciplinary charges against her.
A separate City of Cape Town investigation into alleged mismanagement remained underway at the time.
An internal DA report, the so-called ‘Steenhuisen report’, allegedly detailed a probe into her conduct. The report was never made public but among the controversy against her was apparently an accusation that she had sent a text message to councillor Xanthea Limberg, requesting that then-candidate for city manager, Achmat Ebrahim, be given a high score.
At the time of her resignation, De Lille told Radio 702 that she would still pursue civil damages against at least 12 individuals she claimed defamed her over the last six months.
In August, former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko was reported to have urged for more clarity as to what the problem was with De Lille.
“I would like to know what the Patricia de Lille issue is… If someone can explain it to me in simple English, perhaps I can offer a fulsome opinion,” she was quoted as saying at the Cape Town Press Club.
“I smell a rat. A woman who is accused of having a ‘bad management style’… I’ve never heard of a man being accused in politics of having a bad management style. Politicians are leaders, not managers. “So, she is ‘uppity’? She’s an ‘uppity’ woman of colour. Is that what the accusation is?”
Earlier this month, incoming mayor Dan Plato was quoted as saying the DA was “too compassionate” when it dealt with the De Lille saga.
He also said that De Lille had been offered a “different government position” when she was asked to resign, but was unwilling to disclose which position was offered to her and whether she accepted it. — News24