JP Smith File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille says the DA’s refusal to provide documents and other evidence that informed the Steenhuisen Report on which findings were made against her shows that senior party members Mmusi Maimane, James Selfe and John Steenhuisen were protecting JP Smith at all costs.

This after De Lille’s case challenging the findings in the Steenhuisen Report was postponed due to the DA’s refusal to provide the documentary and other evidence, according to De Lille.

De Lille said she had demanded that the DA provide her with two documents needed for the case to proceed.

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“The first document is the letter from JP Smith which started this entire witch-hunt against me. 

"This letter was addressed to Mmusi Maimane and James Selfe, and at the same time, by Smith’s own admission, also given to other federal executive members, which include Denise Robinson, John Steenhuisen, Refiloe Ntsekhe and Thomas Walters. 

"This letter was then leaked to the media. I am aware of two matters which were raised in the letter,” De Lille said.

She said the first matter related to the allegation that she shut down the provincial Special Investigation Unit and the second involved allegations pertaining to the security upgrades of her private residence.

De Lille said she had been asking the DA leadership for this letter since September, as she believed it was clearly the “genesis of the smear campaign that they have subjected me to”.

“The DA has refused every single request I have made in this regard. I requested a copy of the letter from Maimane via SMS. 

"He agreed to send me a copy but I never received it. I also requested the letter from Selfe. He sent me one page only of the 30-page letter. 

"I requested the letter from Steenhuisen and my request was met with a legal response to say that the letter is confidential,” she said.

De Lille said that without the full record of evidence and a proper investigation, the Steenhuisen Report could only amount to a collection of feelings and baseless anecdotes.

“I have now been forced into the position of having to launch yet another separate court application in order to get the documents which the DA has been using to smear my name. 

"This is a party which supposedly believes in the rule of law and constitutionality. I now have to spend more time and more money in order to clear my name because of their delaying tactics,” she added.

De Lille said her counsel and the DA’s went to see the judge president yesterday to discuss possible dates for the various court applications to be heard, and the judge president agreed that all the cases should be consolidated and he would allocate a judge for the matters to be heard as soon as the papers were finalised.

“All of these tactics beg the question as to what the DA is hiding and how sure they are of their case against me.”

Selfe said the DA had provided De Lille “with a full and complete record of all the documents that served before the fedex (federal executive) when it took that decision”.

He said that after receiving that record, De Lille decided to amend her application to seek to review the recommendation that the Steenhuisen Committee made to the fedex.

“The mayor is entitled to review the decision of fedex. She is not entitled to review the recommendation of the Steenhuisen Committee, which had no consequences for her at all.”

He said it appeared that De Lille was not seeking to review the Steenhuisen Report for any legal reason, “but in order to gain access to the information before the Steenhuisen Committee”.

Selfe added the committee had consulted with many members of the DA caucus.

Cape Times