De Lille dishonest about not receiving ‘Steenhuisen’ report

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council
28 Jun 2018 in News

Repeated claims by Ms Patricia de Lille that she was never provided with a copy of the ‘Steenhuisen’ report are simply untrue.

The report was sent to her on 11 December 2017 at 08:05 and she responded to the DA on 13 December 2017 at 08:01. It is, therefore, a blatant untruth that she has not been provided with a copy of it.

The report is also a matter of public record as it was submitted to the Western Cape High Court. Ms de Lille should know this as she is fully aware of the case number of her court application and therefore should have access to the report through the court if she is having difficulty locating it in her email inbox.

For ease of reference, the report can be accessed here.

Ms de Lille has also repeatedly stated that she wants the names of the whistleblowers who gave testimony at the enquiry. The DA is of the opinion that these individuals are we are protected under Protected Disclosures Amendment Act, which seeks to prevent any intimidation.

This is vital as Ms de Lille has already publicly attacked and sought to intimidate two whistleblowers in the City of Cape Town.

Ms de Lille has also claimed that the DA missed the deadline to submit our answering affidavit. What she has conveniently omitted is that the deadline she refers to is the one set by herself by when she wanted the DA to submit this affidavit.  The High Court Uniform Rules provide that an affidavit must be lodged within 20 days.  She demanded that we submit the affidavit within four court days.  We filed within eleven days, well within the limit.

We continuously reminded her of the Rules and that her Application must be postponed to the opposed roll like any other matter. Again, she chose to ignore the Court rules and process. Only this morning she agreed with us despite our team writing to her as many as 3 times before today

The internal enquiry was established last year to investigate obvious political tensions in the Cape Town Caucus as well as a growing list of substantive complaints about the nature and style of the Mayor’s internal leadership. It was chaired by John Steenhuisen, and other members included, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey, DA Free State Provincial Leader Patricia Kopane and Councillor Karen Smith.

The findings of the enquiry cannot be taken lightly and found that Ms De Lille has failed in her duties and responsibilities, has brought the Party into disrepute and her actions were detrimental to internal co-operation within the party. Specifically:

  • Evidence of deep divisions within the caucus of the City of Cape Town exist. These divisions were shown to have been a result of Ms De Lille’s leadership style which is overwhelmingly viewed as unnecessarily autocratic, divisive and misaligned to democratic principles of openness and tolerance;
  • The organisational restructuring led by Ms De Lille appears to have been used in certain instances to remove experienced officials in the City, with a view to replacing them with officials whose loyalty to her was prized over all else;
  • Decision making structures had been stripped of powers and functions, seemingly with a view to centralise overwhelming power in Ms De Lille, undercutting the authority and democratically enshrined role of the Mayoral committee, portfolio committees and sub-councils, as well as the DA’s commitment to bringing government as close to the people as possible;
  • It appears that the Ms De Lille interfered with and manipulated appointments at a senior management level within the City and some of its entities; and

It is most unfortunate that Ms de Lille continues to put her own interests of the people of Cape Town.

Despite this, the DA will continue to prioritise the people of Cape Town and to deliver services and clean governance.