Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille’s demise all started when she decided to close down the City’s Special Investigative Unit (SIU) which is under control of her safety chief JP Smith - someone she does not see eye-to-eye with.
De Lille has clipped the wings of the SIU by ordering that it be shut down, a move which has unearthed shocking claims of councillors being involved in murder.
Claims about irregularities relating to building work done at De Lille’s Pinelands home also surfaced.
This SIU is a different entity from the national Special Investigating Unit and its mandate is to investigate high-level probes within the City.
In a submission from Smith, dated August 20 and addressed to among others, DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressed his worries about narrowing the SIU’s functions.
In it, Smith said he tried to find out if there was a reason given for wanting to shut down the unit.
The cracks showed and it was clear that the friction caused an untenable situation in the City’s top leadership.
The DA then decided to place both De Lille and Smith on leave and begin an investigation into friction between the two.
It has been rumoured that there is a full dossier of complaints against De Lille - complaints that could sink her career.
Soon after the dust of the SIU drama settled, another bomb was dropped on De Lille in early November.
Craig Kesson, executive director in De Lille’s office, claimed that De Lille and City manager Achmat Ebrahim covered up corruption involving Melissa Whitehead, transport commissioner for Cape Town.
The corruption included an amount of R43 million, Kesson claimed. The Cape Argus/IOL reported earlier in the week that 22 cashiers were fired for their involvement in the corruption.
Whitehead, in her affidavit, also said that she was aware of R36m lost in revenue. De Lille has had to fend the attacks which she believe is because of her plans to integrate the city and tackle apartheid spatial planning. She has until Monday to respond after the DA will take a decision on her future.