Around April 2018, Hendrik Hugo, a DA chairperson in Durbanville, posted on a social media group a document containing information that suggested De Lille, had among others, committed criminal acts and covered up an unlawful criminal act.
De Lille is now claiming R500 000 after she suffered damages to her reputation and dignity as a result of the false information.
In the summons to Hugo, a copy of which the Weekend Argus has seen, the former Cape Town mayor, who had battles with the DA in 2018 that led to her resignation, in October said the document purported to contain a portion of a text written by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu as well as a picture of De Lille and above it a headline “Patricia De Lille EXPOSED” in bold print.
The document also contained an inscription which said “TENDERS FOR FRIENDS”.
De Lille’s legal representatives said the wording was intended by Hugo to impute and were understood by its readers to mean that De Lille:
- was involved in unlawful activity during her tenure as mayor,
- was subject to various findings by the A-G,
- had committed criminal acts,
- and that she had acted in a manner that was not becoming of a politician, deliberately covering up unlawful and criminal conduct.
“The publication of the statements contained in the document was unlawful and defamatory,” the lawyers said .
Hugo’s post suggested that Makwetu made findings against De Lille that she breached the law and some regulations pertaining to financial matters in municipalities.
It further implied that she was involved in drafting tender specifications in a biased manner, and unlawfully procured tenders for her friends while a mayor and that unlawful conduct of De Lille was exposed.
Hugo has been given 10 days from the service of the summons by a sheriff to dispute the claim and to defend the action.