City Speaker Dirk Smit has formally laid criminal charges against mayor Patricia de Lille and mayco member Brett Herron, causing mounting tension. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - City Speaker Dirk Smit has formally laid criminal charges against mayor Patricia de Lille and mayco member Brett Herron.

In a late statement, the DA said it had taken note that Smit had laid criminal charges against De Lille and Herron in terms of a resolution taken by the Cape Town City Council which flowed from an independent investigation led by law firm Bowmans.

"Her failure to bring the matter to the attention of council was a failure of her duties in respect of the Municipal Systems Disciplinary Regulations 5(1) and (2), as well as Regulation 3(2) of the Financial Misconduct Regulations. As a result, the Speaker has laid the charges in accordance to S119 of the Municipal Systems Act."

It said criminal charges were also laid against Herron.

"Speaker Smit also laid charges against Brett Herron in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act."

The statement said, in terms of the council resolution, only the City manager may lay charges against Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner for transport and other officials for their conduct.

The DA said it was surprised that De Lille claimed she had no agreement with the party to resign. This as De Lille tweeted that it was a lie that she had already tendered her resignation.

"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."

Earlier reports suggested that a motion of no-confidence might be in the offing should she refuse to resign.

Asked about the rumoured no-confidence motion, De Lille said: “Well, I don't care about anything they do. They are trying to scare me through the media, but really I am not scared. I don't care. My emphasis is clearing my name. Whatever else they do is their work. I am still consulting lawyers.”

Political analyst Daniel Silke said the conflict was not doing anyone any good.

“The so-called solution that the DA leader Mmusi Maimane came up with to end the tensions was now in tatters. This matter has been going on for far too long in an uncontrolled fashion. This matter should have been resolved long ago and in a far better way.”

Bowmans, tasked with probing allegations of maladministration and corruption in the City, found that De Lille had blocked former City manager Achmat Ebrahim from reporting corruption involving MyCiTi buses to the council.

Cape Argus