De Lille hits back at DA’s Maz­zone

Sunday Express - - AFRICA - Africaa 17

THE bat­tle be­tween Cape Town Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille and the Demo­cratic Al­liance is get­ting uglier, with De Lille slam­ming the party’s Natasha Maz­zone as “clue­less”.

Maz­zone has hit back, ac­cus­ing De Lille of bul­ly­ing tac­tics and of in­tim­i­dat­ing those who speak against her.

De Lille took of­fence to some of Maz­zone’s state­ments on Wed­nes­day af­ter the mayor’s court vic­tory against the party. Maz­zone is the party’s sec­ond deputy fed­eral coun­cil chair­per­son.

The mayor was fur­ther frus­trated on Thurs­day af­ter her re­view of the party’s in­ter­nal “Steen- huisen re­port” into her con­duct was post­poned to Novem­ber. The DA is re­fus­ing to sub­mit ev­i­dence De Lille has re­quested. “I am writ­ing to you, as the lat­est ap­pointed scripted spokesper­son tasked with smear­ing my name on the DA’s be­half,” De Lille said in an open let­ter to Maz­zone on Thurs­day. “I note, from your in­ter­views and writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion per­tain­ing to this mat­ter, that your knowl­edge of my case is se­ri­ously lack­ing. I am there­fore tak­ing it upon my­self to brief you and bring you up to speed, since no one in the DA ap­pears to have done so. “You have been re­peat­ing that I ‘breached the Code of Con­duct for Coun­cil­lors as well as the con­sti­tu­tion of the DA, had brought the DA into dis­re­pute, and breached the con­di­tions of my sus­pen­sion’. “You also say that I am be­ing charged for cor­rup­tion, when there is not a sin­gle cor­rup­tion charge against me. I have lit­er­ally spent the past seven months wait­ing for the ev­i­dence of th­ese trans­gres­sions, in­clud­ing to­day, where the DA failed to pro­duce said ev­i­dence in the court once more. Sim­ply re­peat­ing what she heard, didn’t make it true, she said.

“Yet, here you are, rather mind­lessly re­peat­ing the ac­cu­sa­tion with­out any ev­i­dence or con­text. This is the very prob­lem with the way that you have been con­duct­ing your­self. Clue­less, to the ex­tent that I had to cor­rect your lies on EWN.”

De Lille claimed it was now “clear to the pub­lic” that the DA re­fused to give her the ev­i­dence, be­cause the party did not “want to give me a fair chance to de­fend my­self”.

“You, on be­half of the DA, want to re­peat al­le­ga­tions in pub­lic but I am de­nied of the op­por­tu­nity to de­fend my­self in pub­lic.

“I also note all the lies on your Blue Bul­letin and I am in the process of pre­par­ing my civil suit for defama­tion.

“It is dis­gust­ing that you at­tack the ju­di­ciary. Please leave my ad­vo­cate, Dali Mpofu, SC, alone be­cause the court has just or­dered the DA pay for his ser­vices.”

De Lille in­di­cated on Thurs­day that her le­gal fees were more than R1m.

She also de­nied that she re­fused to co-op­er­ate in the in­de­pen­dent coun­cil re­port com­piled by law firm Bowman Gil­fil­lan (Bow­mans).

“Lies, again. You should not be speak­ing on mat­ters if you are not prop­erly in­formed. I have had three meet­ings with Bow­mans and I have al­ways wel­comed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pledged my co­op­er­a­tion.

“I am in the process of fi­nal­is­ing my re­sponses. In ad­di­tion, it is govern­ment busi­ness, and you would do well to re­spect the sep­a­ra­tion be­tween party and state.”

Like all “pre­vi­ous scripted spokesper­sons”, her ad­vice was to “read and un­der­stand your script” be­fore do­ing in­ter­views.

“You would be wise to heed my ad­vice. It is about time that you al­low the ac­tual spokesper­son for the DA, Solly Malatsi, to do his job.”

She signed the let­ter: “All the best, Pa­tri­cia de Lille”.

Maz­zone re­sponded on Fri­day with a let­ter of her own.

She said De Lille’s let­ter was again an at­tempt to “mis­lead the peo­ple of Cape Town and South Africa”.

“While you are de­ter­mined to drag this mat­ter out, we are com­mit­ted to serv­ing the peo­ple of Cape Town,” Maz­zone be­gan.

“Again, while your fo­cus is on per­sonal and vit­ri­olic at­tacks, we con­tinue to do what we were elected to do.”

Maz­zone said sin­gling out and at­tempt­ing to bully and in­tim­i­date those who speak up against De Lille’s ac­tions, were the very same tac­tics which led to 75% of her own cau­cus los­ing con­fi­dence in her.

She pointed out that she was not a “spokesper­son”, but a deputy chair­per­son of the fed­eral coun­cil.

“While you may think a bully tac­tic such as this would keep me, or the DA, from pursuing ac­count­abil­ity and en­sur­ing that good gov­er­nance al­ways comes first, I wish to in­form you that I have never, and will never be bul­lied into si­lence.

“In­stead of try­ing to bully me, you should an­swer key ques­tions that you have consistency dodged.”

She again raised the is­sue of the SMS al­legedly sent to Coun­cil­lor Xanthea Lim­berg ask­ing that the then-City man­ager be scored high­est, among oth­ers.

She also again ac­cused De Lille of in­tim­i­dat­ing two whistle­blow­ers in the City and asked whether she “un­duly in­flu­enced” the ap­point­ment of a fam­ily friend to a key board po­si­tion.

“No one per­son is big­ger than the peo­ple we are elected to serve. It is our job, as pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to al­ways pri­ori­tise the peo­ple we are elected to serve.

“Ours is not to be self-serv­ing and be em­broiled in nasty mud-sling­ing. It is un­for­tu­nate that you have cho­sen to make this per­sonal and not about the peo­ple of Cape Town and ac­count­abil­ity. How­ever, we will not be de­terred from the com­mit­ment we made to the cit­i­zens who elected us.” — DM

CAPE Town Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille.

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