Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille is now facing a new probe after council accepted a recommendation that a further investigation be carried out into an alleged cover-up of Melissa Whitehead’s claim of wrongdoing by De Lille.
City manager Achmat Ebrahim and transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead are both also facing disciplinary action, and have been given seven days to provide reasons why they should not be suspended.
The action was approved after the council gathered today to consider the report of an investigation by law firm Bowman Gilfillan.
De Lille was also expected to provide the DA with reasons why she should not resign following an investigation by a subcommittee of the party’s federal executive. It found management and governance-related problems at the city council.
Opposition parties said the council’s decision disproved the DA’s claims that it ran a clean government.
“The problem for them [DA] is that they have no place to hide now. They want by all means to save their skins,” said ANC leader in the council, Xolani Sotashe.
He said that De Lille found a corrupt system in the city and instead of fixing it, she joined it.
The council said that the three allegations against Ebrahim “are of a serious nature” and require disciplinary action. Whitehead is facing a probe into four allegations.
The presiding officer and the officer to lead evidence at the disciplinary hearings for Ebrahim and Whitehead will be appointed by the council audit and performance committee.
According to the council resolution, the officer leading evidence will have extensive authority.
“He/she will have full unrestricted access to any council document, system, councillor, member of staff or contractor or adviser, without the need for any further approval.”
The investigation by Bowman Gilfillan followed a series of serious allegations against the mayor by Craig Kesson in a sworn affidavit.
Kesson alleged that De Lille had asked him to bury a report with damning allegations of corruption involving over R43-million in a MyCiTi bus tender.
Council reiterated the fact, “council notes the allegations… that the executive mayor prevented the city manager from reporting the allegations against Whitehead to council and directs that an investigation be conducted into the matter.”
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