De Lille lied about security upgrade expenses at home - DA WCape leader

Madikizela says it is intolerable for a sitting Mayor to mislead her party and the people of City

De Lille lied about security upgrade expenses at home - WC DA leader

31 January 2018

Cape Town - Embattled Mayor Patricia de Lille's claims that the Auditor-General (AG) found nothing irregular about security upgrades at her home is "blatantly false" and it is intolerable that she mislead her party, Democratic Alliance Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said on Wednesday.

De Lille previously and publicly said expenses relating to the payments were all above board.

However, on Wednesday, Madikizela said her public statements, that the AG had "vindicated" her, were not true.

"The AG in the disclosure and listing of irregular expenditure in the financial statements has in fact found that these upgrades were irregular - exposing previous claims by the mayor as blatantly false," he said.

'Simply intolerable'

"It is simply intolerable for a sitting Mayor to mislead her party and more importantly the people of Cape Town in such a deliberate and inexcusable fashion."

On Wednesday, the DA also announced that its federal executive has authorised a motion of no confidence in De Lille.

De Lille has for months faced several allegations levelled at her by colleagues.

In October, the security upgrades at De Lille's home were the centre of controversy.

About 10 ANC members visited her home to ask her to "pay back the money".

De Lille at the time, issued a statement saying: "Regarding renovations at my house, these were paid for by myself and I am prepared to make the proof of these payments, made by myself, known as part of the proper legal processes."

City of Cape Town Speaker Dirk Smit had also issued a statement, stating that the council paid about R451 000 for security measures.

Smit also said the safety upgrades undertaken at De Lille's house were based on a risk analysis report and recommendations from a special police unit.

In December, De Lille had again said the security upgrades were above board.

In response to questions about whether she was referring to a preliminary AG report on the matter, her office replied to News24 with a June 30, 2017 report by the AG which had found: "The expenditure incurred does not need to be disclosed as irregular."

Since September 2017 De Lille has come under fire with several allegations being levelled against her and other senior staffers.

Allegations include that she did not want irregularities relating to a city transport being brought before the council.

It is understood the AG has also made findings on this.

Independent investigators from Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys had investigated related allegations and compiled a report on what they had found.

This report, which the city has kept confidential, found De Lille may be guilty of gross misconduct for allegedly advising then-city manager Achmat Ebrahim that he need not report to the city council an allegation of misconduct against Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner of the transport and urban development authority.

These allegations related to alleged irregularities involving payments to the companies Volvo and Scania for bus chassis.

The Bowman Gilfillan report said a forensic report presented prima facie evidence: "The Commissioner (Whitehead) was involved in irregular expenditure in relation to payments in the aggregate amount of R43 801 807.06 made to Volvo for 29 bus chassis."

It also found that payments totalling R29 584 368 made to Scania for 24 bus chassis during June 2014 were irregular.

Whitehead has since been suspended.