Cape Town – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has declined to prosecute former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille following an investigation into a complaint that services relating to security upgrades at her residence had been procured irregularly.
It found that the evidence did not support this allegation and there was also no evidence that De Lille, who is now the Public Works and Infrastructure minister, played any part in the renovations procurement process.
NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the Hawks had referred two criminal complaints against De Lille to the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit (SCCU).
These were related to renovations done at her residence for security purposes and an unrelated complaint that she had attempted to solicit a bribe from Gauteng businessman Anthony Faul, who was an unsuccessful potential supplier to the City.
“The matters were assigned to a senior state advocate who asked the DPCI (Hawks) officers assigned to the matters to conduct investigations. These investigations were duly conducted and the matter was submitted for decision to the SCCU.
“After carefully considering all the evidence gathered in the matter and the SCCU’s recommendations, the DPP agreed that there were no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution and accordingly declined to prosecute any person in connection with the two cases.”
In respect of the allegation that services relating to the renovations for security purposes had been procured irregularly, Ntabazalila said the evidence did not support this.
“There is also no evidence that Ms De Lille played any part in the renovations procurement process,” said Ntabazalila.
Regarding the allegation that De Lille attempted to solicit a bribe from Faul, Ntabazalila said: “There is no reasonable prospect that the State would succeed in proving this in the light of the evidence contradicting the complaint, the probabilities and the absence of corroboration.”
Faul made headlines last year when De Lille was embroiled in a battle with the DA, claiming that she had sought about R5 million in exchange for her endorsement of his venture to provide fire extinguishers to informal settlements in Cape Town. He provided an affidavit to the DA.
The DA has distanced itself from the matter, with spokesperson Solly Malatsi saying: “You will recall that the first (bribery) case was opened by a private individual.
"The second one (security upgrades) was by the ANC Dullah Omar region in Cape Town. Both actions didn’t involve the DA. So those who laid the charges should have the appetite to comment on this. We don’t have that appetite.”
Neither Faul nor ANC leader in the City, Xolani Sotashe, could be reached for comment by deadline.
De Lille’s Good party said the NPA’s decision exposed the DA as having “concocted charges against De Lille and having abused the criminal justice system for the political purposes of the laptop boys who spent nearly two years plotting against her”.
“The fact is they had to fabricate a case against her because the real reasons are politically embarrassing for them - that they are anti-transformation and she was too busy implementing their promise to fix apartheid spatial planning and integrate our city.
"They didn’t really mean what they promised,” said Good secretary general Brett Herron.