Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille File picture: Mlondolozi Mbolo/ANA
Cape Town - Beleaguered Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says she is not planning to step down from her post at the helm of the DA-controlled city council.

De Lille, who has been suspended from the party, has until Monday to either quit or supply the DA with reasons she should not resign.

This comes after the conclusion of a probe into allegations of maladministration by a DA sub-committee.

DA party spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said in a statement the party’s sub-committee had found “sufficient management and governance-related challenges prevalent in the DA’s City of Cape Town caucus, negatively impacting the city’s mandate to govern efficiently for the people of Cape Town”.

De Lille told Weekend Argus she was consulting with legal advisers this weekend and had no intention of stepping down. She claimed she was the victim of a “witch hunt” aimed at getting rid of her.

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She said she had a track record of achievement in the city but the catalyst for the drive to get rid of her had been her insistence that affordable housing needed to be provided within the city near public transport rather than on the periphery and that vacant tracts of council land be used to provide housing.

De Lille said the DA seemed to have not taken into account the reasons she had already supplied for why she should not be suspended and it appeared the outcome had been a foregone conclusion.

She said the DA’s core value of fairness was being violated. She had not been provided with a hearing, or a chance to call or question witnesses and she was yet to learn what prima facie evidence there was.

“I’m not going because of innuendo and I’m not allowing my reputation as an anti-corruption fighter to be destroyed.”

The mayor said that, for example, she had paperwork to prove she had not benefited unduly from security upgrades to her Pinelands home, as had been alleged.

One of the issues the sub-committee probed was De Lille’s shutting down of the city’s special investigations unit, which was reportedly investigating some councillors, because it fell foul of the Police Act. This had led to a fallout with mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services JP Smith, who, along with De Lille, was placed on special leave from party activities in the Cape metropole in October.

A separate independent investigation into allegations of wrongdoing, including maladministration, in the city is ongoing.

This is after the council last month agreed to appoint an independent investigator to probe allegations against the executive director of De Lille’s office, Craig Kesson, city manager Achmat Ebrahim and Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner of the transport and urban development authority.

Kesson had made serious allegations against De Lille, who responded by saying his claims were false and amounted to a criminal offence.

Weekend Argus