De Lille evades accountability and puts herself ahead of the people of Cape Town

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council
29 Oct 2018 in News

Patricia De Lille’s address at the Cape Town Press Club this afternoon confirms what the party has suspected. Ms De Lille will do everything in her power to evade accountability for the governance failures she has presided over.

She is doing everything possible to confuse and mislead the public. She is certainly no friend of the truth and is now throwing mud at an unprecedented rate.

She has repeatedly vilified the DA for doing what is right and what is expected from us as an organisation that demands the highest level of accountability, transparency and good governance from those who have been elected to public office. No matter how senior, or their personal history.

The facts here are simple:

  1. An independent investigation, appointed by the City of Cape Town Council (and for which De Lille voted) has recommended that Patricia de Lille be criminally charged for interfering in city tenders, and the legal duties and obligations of the former City Manager, Achmat Ebrahim, in instituting legally required disciplinary action against officials guilty of violating the law. A level of interference that can be best summed up, by De Lille’s comments “that this matter is going nowhere”.
  2. A 2000-page report by the independent investigators details how Patricia de Lille’s conduct systematically broke down good governance in the City of Cape Town.
  3. She did so by actively shielding and defending officials guilty of criminal acts in relation to the BYD bus tender (where processes were fraudulently manipulated to illegally favour one bus provider) and the Volvo chassis matter (where the mayor chose to ignore and shield consequential action for irregular payment of R50 million).

The independent report finds in relation to Ms De Lille’s conduct that:

  • Her failure to bring the matter to the attention of Council was a failure of her duties in respect of the Municipal Systems Disciplinary Regulations 5 (1) and (2), as well as Regulation 3(2) of the Financial Misconduct Regulations.
  • Council will now charge Ms De Lille under s119 of the Municipal systems Act which records as follows:

“119(1) A councilor who attempts to influence the municipal manager or any other staff member or an agent of a municipality not to enforce an obligation in terms of this Act, any other applicable legislation or any by-law or decision of the council of the municipality, is guilty of an offences and on conviction liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.”

  • It is also important to note that Melissa Whitehead, the Commissioner for Transport, and the Mayoral Committee member for TDA, Brett Herron, will now also likely be criminally charged.

Ms De Lille has aggressively and constantly publicly defended them both for their actions and has simultaneously attacked the whistleblowers who bought their and her misconduct and criminal actions to the fore.

Ms De Lille has committed to resign from the mayoral office on the 31st of October.  Our priority is to bring stability and mature leadership in the City of Cape Town and to put the needs of the people first.

This is the mandate that the mayor-elect, Dan Plato has been given.