Five councillors who resigned in solidarity with Patricia de Lille said they were suing DA leader Mmusi Maimane for R1 million for defamation. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA

Cape Town - Five Cape Town councillors who resigned in solidarity with former mayor Patricia de Lille said on Thursday they were suing Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane for R1 million for defamation.

One of the councillors, Suzette Little, said Maimane had ignored a warning to retract a statement to the effect that they were implicated in the Bowmans report, which has been used as the basis for criminal charges against De Lille.

Little resigned on October 25 along with Shaun August, Siyabulela Mamkeli, Gregchan Barnardo and Thulani Stemele, leaving both the council and the DA.

"Soon after our resignations, leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane made defamatory remarks in Limpopo in the presence of the public and the media in which he claimed that we were implicated in the Bowman’s report and that we were covering up corruption in the City of Cape Town," Little said, adding that the same was published in his weekly newsletter “Bokamoso”.

She said their lawyer then sent Maimane a letter demanding a retraction and an apology since their names were not mentioned in the report and they were not implicated in the investigation into maladministration and corruption in the council.

"Maimane issued a replacement Bokomoso newsletter but did not retract his comments. In fact, his replacement Bokomoso newsletter continued to accuse us of being party to some sort of cover-up. Maimane damaged our reputations gratuitously and widely and he was not man enough to correct his own conduct."

Little said the group then instructed their attorneys to sue Maimane for defamation and summons have been served on him.

"Now that we have used our rights to protect our names by instituting this summons we trust Maimane understands the serious nature of the reputational damage he has caused."

Maimane's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

African News Agency (ANA)