Mayor Patricia de Lille is set to retract her decision to resign as Cape Town mayor 24 hours before a “grim” forensic investigation report implicating her in corruption and maladministration is tabled before council.
Several high-placed sources have informed the Cape Argus that they were aware of De Lille’s intention to not leave office on October 31. Two months ago, after reaching an agreement with the DA that they would clear her name, De Lille agreed to resign.
The agreement followed months of drawn-out court battles between her and the DA. At full council on Thursday, a 2 000- page forensic report into corruption and maladministration by law firm Bowmans will be tabled, after which a decision will be taken on whether to lay criminal charges against De Lille, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron, suspended transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead and a string of officials.
De Lille’s closest confidant, Rodney Lentit, said he advised her to not resign.
“She is on a plane back to Cape Town. I have spoken to her and advised her not to resign until this matter is resolved. We have seen that there is an exit attack by the DA on her. She agreed to take my advice not to resign,” he said yesterday.
He said a press briefing would be held on Wednesday. A senior DA source said he was aware of De Lille’s plan not to resign.
“If she does not want to resign, she will be removed by a motion of no confidence and all other charges and disciplinary action against her will be re-instituted,” the source said.
Sources have also said plans were already on the way to restart the Independent Democrats – a party De Lille merged with the DA. There have also been meetings to strategise and some supporters have created posters.
The plan, sources say, is to work with the EFF and ANC to stand as a collective force against the DA. Deputy chairperson of the DA federal council Natasha Mazzone said the findings against De Lille were grim.
“It is important for the public to understand that there are two investigative reports, both which by all accounts point to continuous interference and misconduct by Patricia de Lille. The second, more substantive, report, which by all accounts includes 2 000 pages of detailed evidence, paints a grim picture of De Lille’s conduct as mayor,” she said.
She said the DA had always maintained that this wholly independent investigation should be allowed to run its course. De Lille is on her way back from Bristol in the UK and could not be reached.