Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

DA silent over discreet payment of R1m in court awarded legal costs to De Lille

By Lisa Isaacs, Okuhle Hlati Time of article published May 21, 2021

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Cape Town – The DA is tight-lipped over the alleged discreet payment of nearly R1 million in court-awarded legal costs to Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) Minister Patricia de Lille.

De Lille, the former mayor, had turned to the courts on numerous occasions to defend herself against her former party which she left in 2018.

When she resigned from her position as mayor De Lille established the Good Movement party.

Good secretary-general Brett Herron said four times De Lille had to seek protection from the courts as the DA allegedly manufactured stories about the reason she left.

“A particular bone of contention was De Lille’s insistence that affordable homes be built for people of colour in inner city areas and formerly whites-only neighbourhoods to begin to integrate the post-apartheid city.

’’Soon after her resignation, the city cancelled all the inner city housing projects she had lined up for implementation. The courts are still to pass judgment on five defamation cases launched by De Lille and close colleagues, relating to the same period and set of lies.”

The DA did not respond to questions about the alleged payment yesterday.

De Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson said the amount was not paid directly to De Lille, but to her legal team for four legal cases the DA had lost against her.

Meanwhile, De Lille has hit back at Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers, who accused her of misleading the public about parcels of land that were meant to be released in the province.

According to Simmers his department and other housing agencies have lodged formal requests and been waiting for five parcels of land that were announced to no avail.

He called for De Lille to state which parcels have been released, where they’re located and what the potential human settlement yield is.

Simmers said it was important that when land is released and or transferred that the power of attorney (PoA) must be provided.

“Should the PoA not be available, a third party is unable to commence with statutory processes such as Water Use License Assessments (WULA), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and town planning or any other statutory processes on the owner’s land, while the transfer has not been concluded.”

“We have a housing backlog of close to 600 000 in this province and Minister De Lille’s continued failure to release land for human settlement purposes and to issue the POA to the HDA as per the national Cabinet resolution, causes further delays in addressing the housing needs of our residents.”

In response, De Lille said she has signed off the release of six parcels of land for human settlements purposes and they are in Stellenbosch, Driftsands, two in Ruiterbos Forest Village, Mossel Bay and two in Wellington but must go through approval and land transfers procedures.

She said the DA must stop playing politics with land and respect the statutory processes they have to follow in the government.

“I have been the minister for two years and the DA cannot expect me to deal with their failures of 10 years in two years.

’’They must deal with their failures to provide decent housing for the people of the Western Cape by using land on the immovable asset register of the provincial government and the immovable asset registers of all the municipalities of the Western Cape before blaming the national government for not releasing land.’’

Cape Times

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