Criminal charges opened against Patricia de Lille

Patricia De Lille.
Patricia De Lille.
Image: David Harrison.

Cape Town City speaker Dirk Smit has formally laid criminal charges at the city's central police station against Patricia de Lille and mayoral committee member Brett Herron.

“The law must now follow its course on these matters accordingly and the SAPS will receive our full support while conducting their investigation‚” Smit said in a statement.

Deputy chairperson of the DA's federal council‚ Natasha Mazzone‚ confirmed on Tuesday evening that the charges had been opened.

Mazzone said the party had noted "with surprise" De Lille's comments that she had not agreed to resign.

"This is simply untrue. Not only did she make the announcement that she would resign at a briefing with the DA Leader‚ Mmusi Maimane‚ in August‚ we have a signed resignation letter from her.

"Based on her comments‚ our lawyers have written to Ms De Lille’s lawyers to state that we expect her to vacate the mayoral office tomorrow as per the agreement. It is important that we restore stability to the City of Cape Town as soon as possible‚" Mazzone said.

De Lille tweeted that a signed letter announcing her resignation was sent to Maimane and not to Smit‚ the council speaker.

Responding to tweet from a Cape Town-based journalist claiming that Smit confirmed De Lille had tendered her resignation‚ De Lille replied: “Well‚ then the speaker is lying to you.”

In a later tweet‚ De Lille attached a screenshot of a text message she purportedly sent to Smit‚ asking him why he was “lying to journalists”.

“I never sent a letter addressed to you today‚” she wrote in the text message.

There was no indication whether or not Smit had replied.

De Lille made no mention of the criminal charges having been laid against her.

Her spokesperson‚ Zara Nicholson said De Lille would not comment on the matter.

"She [de Lille] will make an announcement tomorrow afternoon‚” Nicholson said on Tuesday evening.

Mayor-elect Dan Plato is expected to be sworn in as a councillor on Thursday ahead of him being nominated as De Lille’s replacement.

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