PARTY IN THE CENTRE: Former mayor Patricia de Lille
Cape Town - Fraud and defamation charges laid by former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille against four senior DA members on Thursday have been brushed off.

In April the four allegedly created and or shared a forged auditor-general (A-G) statement on social media.

A-G Kimi Makwetu subsequently confirmed that the statement was fake and the document purporting to represent the institution forged.

A social media post titled Patricia de Lille exposed purported to be a document from the office of Makwetu with his signature attached, and listed a number of alleged breaches by De Lille related to the MyCiTi bus procurement process.

De Lille initially threatened to sue the members if they did not apologise in public.

The four DA senior members are two members of Parliament, DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters and DA National Council of Provinces member Bronwynn Engelbrecht.

The other two are DA KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson Shehana Kajee and DA branch executive Henk Hugo.

Asked for comment, Kajee said: “I know exactly why you are calling me and I am not going to respond to any of this.”

Efforts to contact Hugo failed. Neither he nor Waters have responded to messages sent to them.

De Lille hung up her mayoral chain at the end of last month following a protracted battle with DA leaders.

The party had said it had lost confidence in her ability to lead the City. It had also claimed she was guilty of several corrupt activities while mayor.

In May, De Lille laid a formal complaint regarding the distribution of this forgery with James Selfe, chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive.

This complaint was in terms of the breach of the DA’s constitution and its social media policy to which members are required to adhere.

No action was taken by the DA against these members despite the serious nature of this breach, she said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane wrote to the A-G in September stating that the party could not take responsibility for what his supporters shared on social media.

“However, these are not DA supporters; they are DA members, elected senior leaders in some cases.

“They must be accountable to the public, they must adhere to the DA’s social media policy, the DA constitution and the South African Constitution.

“I am taking this action because of the serious nature of the fraud, as well as the total disregard and disrespect shown to a Chapter 9 institution, the office of the Auditor-General, by public representatives,” De Lille said.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “We note the charges laid by Ms Patricia de Lille and trust that the criminal justice system will run its course as it should.

“We also look forward to the outcome of the SA Police Service investigation into the corruption charges against Ms De Lille.”

@JasonFelix

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Cape Argus