Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille is not prepared to go down without a fight.
On Thursday De Lille confirmed to Independent Newspapers that she would meet the DA’s deadline on Friday to explain why she should not be suspended as mayor for alleged pending the outcome of ongoing investigations into a series of reports and an affidavit containing allegations of maladministration in the city.
When contacted De Lille said “Of course, I will meet the deadline of the 5th of January to submit a report to the Federal Executive for consideration."
Asked whether she has enough reasons to bar her suspension, she declined to comment.
The DA has since declined to reveal the contents of the report threatening De Lille’s seven-year-old career.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report which forms the basis of De Lille’s suspension states amongst other things that the MyCiti control weaknesses were known by a senior City official since 2014 and nothing tangible was done to correct them.
It also states that the ICT works estimated MyCiti losses due to corruption by employees amount to about R33 million between 2013 and 2017.
The investigation was prompted by claims of a corruption cover up in the transport authority, including millions in losses suffered on MyCiti contracts.
FF Plus Councillor in Cape Town, Erika Botha-Rossouw said the City of Cape Town must get rid of De Lille for a better administration.
“The people in Cape Town, there is an overall feeling that we can’t trust her as the first lady in the Western Cape. There are a lot of things coming into the open and that tells you that there is more she’s trying to hide. Look at thing like the R33 million on the Volvo and scania thing, it makes her suspicious,” said Rossouw.
She said De Lille has become a liability to the City and should also be blamed for the drought crisis in the province.
“The water situation will not even save her, can she only imagine how many water projects she could have installed with all that money that went to Volvo and Scania. That is not the only financial loss under her administration, a lot of money was lost through MyCiti, the ticket situation. If the City keeps her as the mayor of Cape Town it will be a very big mistake,” she added.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s however accused the DA of victimising and unfairly targeting De Lille.
Western Cape chairperson Bernard Joseph accused the DA of being racist for taking action against De Lille.
“The DA is a racist organisation, that is why they’re targeting De Lille and they’re not targeting the mayor and the municipality manager of Stellenbosch municipality. What they did in Stellenbosch with regards to tender irregularities is the same as what De Lille is accused of,” he said.
“In Stellenbosch the municipal manager and the mayor are left untouchable while here in Cape Town they’re targeting Patricia De Lille,” said Joseph.
He said the DA must deal with De Lille but also with the mayor in Stellenbosch.
The ANC however said they will make sure that the implicated officials, including De Lille, City manager Achmat Ebrahim and Transport and Urban Development Authority commissioner Melissa Whitehead account for their alleged wrongdoing.
De Lille has threatened to drag the DA through courts if they remove her from her position.