Cape Town - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille came out fighting in her last council speech of the year on Wednesday, accusing the ANC of “hollow words”, castigating the media for repeating the opposition’s “blatant lies” and lashing out at groups using the concerns of the poor to fight political battles.
De Lille said the City of Cape Town’s clean audit proved the city was managing its budget effectively and transparently.
This flew in the face of claims by ANC councillors Xolani Sotashe and Tony Ehrenreich that the DA-led city had lied about its record budgetary spend.
“I wonder if the leaders of the opposition will apologise for accusing this government of dishonest behaviour?”
The Speaker was investigating Ehrenreich’s alleged involvement in arranging trains for the would-be marchers.
She had evidence of an e-mail exchange between Ehrenreich, in his capacity as Cosatu secretary-general, and Metrorail, referring to transport arrangements.
De Lille said “every absurd claim, every blatant lie is lovingly repeated by some in the media as if it was the absolute truth”.
The press was failing in its public duty with its “sad apathy and thrill of the sensational”.
The so-called poo protesters and instigators of the housing march that was supposed to have taken place last week, were not fighting for justice. “They are fighting so… violence may be the order of the day.”
ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who excused himself from last month’s meeting and was then seen addressing protesters during the march that turned violent, was in the chamber on Wednesday.
He did not look up while De Lille referred to the protest action.
Notably absent, however, was Ehrenreich. De Lille said while he “klaps me left and right in the media”, she would just “klap him back”.
But despite this, she was ready to work with councillors from any political party to build a better Cape Town.
“But I will neither be humble nor respectful when people use the concerns of the poor as a smokescreen to refight battles they have already lost at the ballot box.”