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De Lille faces police investigation as council backs forensic report

Mayor Patricia de Lille at her last meeting of the City of Cape Town council on Thursday October 25, 2018.
Mayor Patricia de Lille at her last meeting of the City of Cape Town council on Thursday October 25, 2018.
Image: Esa Alexander

Patricia de Lille will be reported to the police‚ the City of Cape Town council decided on Thursday.

The decision was taken behind closed doors after the council considered a 2‚000-page report from law firm Bowman Gilfillan.

It came after De Lille mounted an impassioned attack on her detractors in her last speech to the council as mayor before she steps down on October 31; and after five of her allies resigned from the DA and the council.

Grant Twigg‚ chairperson of the DA in the Cape metro‚ said the council had accepted all of the recommendations and conclusions Bowmans reached.

It delivered its report after a 10-month investigation that was stalled for six months while the firm waited for written responses from De Lille which never arrived.

Bowmans said De Lille should be investigated by the police for allegedly breaking the Municipal Systems Act by attempting to prevent former city manager Achmat Ebrahim reporting transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead to the council in 2015 for suspected misconduct.

If she is eventually convicted‚ she faces a fine or up to two years in jail.

Other recommendations by Bowmans that will now have to be implemented by city manager Lungelo Mbandazayo and speaker Dirk Smit include:

  • Disciplinary action against Whitehead for allegedly unlawfully cancelling a tender and ignoring legal advice;
  • Disciplinary action against officials in the council legal department who allegedly knew what Whitehead had done but did not stop her;
  • Disciplinary action against Whitehead for alleged misconduct to do with the appointment of consultants Stephenson Harwood; and
  • Disciplinary action against Whitehead for her alleged failure to declare a conflict of interest related to the Foreshore Freeway Precinct tender.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron also faces disciplinary action for alleged misconduct in the granting of a R286m electric bus tender to Chinese firm BYD.

The council also agreed that the Bowmans report would be made public on the City of Cape Town website.

Whitehead has been suspended since March pending disciplinary action on other matters investigated by Bowmans.

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