A report that clears mayor Patricia de Lille of any wrongdoing in upgrades to her private home was shelved at the eleventh hour by the DA. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - A report that clears mayor Patricia de Lille of any wrongdoing in upgrades to her private home was shelved at the eleventh hour by the DA.
At council last week, speakers were confirmed and the report was a final recommendation prepared by the City’s Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC), but DA councillor Siseko Mbandezi, who was not on the speaker’s list, asked that the report be referred back to the MPAC for a technical consideration.

Before his request, council speaker Dirk Smit wanted to adjourn the meeting and close the meeting to the public to discuss the Bowmans Gilfillan’s report, another report that implicated De Lille. The report that clears De Lille of any wrongdoing was set to be ratified and R140000 was to be written off as irrecoverable.

The MPAC probe follows an investigation into the 2014 upgrades of De Lille’s house after red flags were raised by the auditor-general (AG). Mbandenzi’s request was met with fury from ANC councillors and De Lille.

“Speaker, what is going on here? This man is not even on the list. The speaker’s list has been sorted out. Can the councillor please explain what he wants to know?,” De Lille said.

Smit said he had the discretion to allow councillors to speak on certain matters. ANC council leader Xolani Sotashe said Mbandenzi could not be allowed to dictate to council.

“This fellow is being used by a white cabal in the DA to come here and try get to De Lille.”

Later De Lille said: “This report must be out there. We can’t stop the meeting right here. This is the report I am going to use to sue those who have been defaming me.”

The installation of the Trellidor security gates at De Lille’s Pinelands home amounted to R140139.98 (which was 28% of the original 2014 risk assessment).

The AG was of the opinion that management had failed to monitor compliance with the applicable laws and regulations, as the grounds for deviating from the procurement process were not valid or compliant with the municipal supply chain management regulations. The AG also found that the municipality failed to ensure that the security upgrades at De Lille’s residence were subject to a new police threat and risk analysis.

MPAC chairperson Yagyah Adams recommended that the amount of R140139.98 for the installation of the Trellidor security gates be disclosed as irregular expenditure by the AG, be ratified as irrecoverable. “The goods were received and services rendered and no one person could be assigned blame as there were many role-players,” he said in his report.

DA caucus leader JP Smith said the report was not approved by Council and was held back for further information.

Cape Argus