DA insists Patricia de Lille must resign as charges are laid against her
The Democratic Alliance’s lawyers wrote a letter to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s lawyers, stating that they expect her to resign on Wednesday as previously agreed and vacate her office.
While it is uncertain whether De Lille will resign on Wednesday, it is certain that criminal charges have been laid against her.
Deputy chairperson of the DA’s federal council Natasha Mazzone on Tuesday confirmed that Cape Town speaker Dirk Smith had laid criminal charges against De Lille and mayoral committee member Brett Herron.
This followed Cape Town city council’s adoption of two reports by law firm Bowmans into maladministration at the metro during a council meeting on Thursday.
Both De Lille and Herron questioned Bowmans’ credibility and plead their innocence.
Mazzone said the 2000 page report by Bowmans details how “De Lille’s conduct systematically broke down good governance in the City of Cape Town”.
“She did so by actively shielding and defending officials allegedly guilty of criminal acts in relation to the BYD bus tender – where processes were fraudulently manipulated to illegally favour one bus provider – and the Volvo chassis matter – where the mayor chose to ignore and shield consequential action for irregular payment of R50 million,” said Mazzone.
Mazzone said De Lille’s failure to bring the matter to the attention of the city council was a failure of her duties in respect of the Municipal Systems Disciplinary Regulations and the Financial Misconduct Regulations.
As a result, Smit laid the charges in accordance to Section 119 of the Municipal Systems Act which reads: “A councillor who attempts to influence the municipal manager or any other staff member or an agent of a municipality not to enforce an obligation in terms of this Act, any other applicable legislation or any by-law or decision of the council of the municipality, is guilty of an offences and on conviction liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.”
Mazzone said Smit also laid charges against Herron in terms of Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
In August De Lille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced that the DA would drop the internal charges relating to the DA constitution against her, and she would resign as mayor on October 31.
Addressing the Cape Town Press Club on Monday, De Lille said: “I didn’t make a deal with the DA at all.”
Mazzone said on Tuesday: “The DA has noted with surprise Ms De Lille’s comments that she had no agreement with the DA to resign.
This is simply untrue. Not only did she make the announcement that she would resign at a briefing with the DA Leader Mmusi Maimane in August, we have a signed resignation letter from her.”
Officially, De Lille would have to address a resignation letter to the speaker.
She tweeted on Tuesday that the letter the DA refers to is her resignation letter to Maimane. “It is not my formal resignation letter to the speaker,” she wrote.
De Lille was on Monday also coy about whether she will resign and said she will attempt to lodge an application to have the Bowmans report reviewed by Wednesday.
“Based on her comments, our lawyers have written to Ms De Lille’s lawyers to state that we expect her to vacate the mayoral office tomorrow as per the agreement. It is important that we restore stability to the City of Cape Town as soon as possible,” said Mazzone.
“As such, Mayor-Elect, Dan Plato, will be sworn in as a councillor on Thursday the 1st of November in preparation for him to be nominated as the Mayor of Cape Town.”
Mazzone asserted that the DA’s main priority remains the people of Cape Town.
“Ms De Lille’s never-ending delaying tactics are wearing thin and every day she shows more and more that she is not to be trusted and that she puts herself ahead of the people she is meant to serve.”
De Lille has consistently said the allegations against her are part of a smear campaign.
Meanwhile DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who was addressing a memorial service for late City of Johannesburg councillor Jerry Mabe, told those in attendance in Soweto on Tuesday evening that as far as he was aware, De Lille had agreed to step down and if she decides not to, then she will have to explain to the nation why. — News 24