De Lille rejects R5-million 'bribery' claim

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has rejected with contempt allegations that she tried to solicit R5-million from a businessman.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has rejected with contempt allegations that she tried to solicit R5-million from a businessman.
Image: TREVOR SAMSON/Business Day

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has rejected with contempt allegations that she tried to solicit R5-million from a businessman.

It emerged on Sunday that the Democratic Alliance (DA) had laid a criminal complaint with police‚ asking them to investigate allegations of “bribery and corruption” against De Lille.

Rapport  newspaper said that Johannesburg businessman Anthony Faul had informed the DA that she allegedly sought R5-million in exchange for endorsing his product – a fire extinguisher that he was marketing to use in informal settlements in the city.

When he refused to pay‚ the endorsement was allegedly withdrawn.

The complaint dates back to 2012 but was only brought to the attention of the party in the past week by Faul.

“I deny and reject the reported allegations with the contempt it deserves‚” De Lille said in a tweeted statement on Sunday‚ upping the ante in a war of words that has continued between her and some members of the DA.

“Should criminal charges have been laid against me‚ I will cooperate openly and transparently with the SAPS.”

De Lille questioned the timing of the complaint. “The timing of this latest move raises many questions such as why this man‚ Anthony Faul‚ is conveniently coming forward now when the DA is charging me for other matters‚” she said. “Firstly‚ why did he go to the DA first instead of going to the police? Why did he wait almost five years to make these allegations?” she asked.

“This seems to be the latest of a string of moves to taint my name by clutching at anything and informing the media before allegations are properly tested.”

She said the way the matter had been handled was a clear attempt to “sway public perception against me”.

“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the concerted efforts to damage my reputation and the haste to get rid of me is reaching desperate heights each day.”

Last week De Lille mounted a furious attack on the DA and its Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ accusing them of being desperate to remove her from her job. Allegations of nepotism‚ maladministration and corruption have been levelled against her.

She is facing a no-confidence motion at a city council meeting scheduled for February 25.

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