CAPE TOWN, February 4 – Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Sunday denied being informed of criminal charges laid against her by the Democratic Alliance, but pledged to co-operate with police in any investigation and questioned the timing of the charges.
“Based on media reports today [Sunday], it has come to my attention that criminal charges have apparently been laid against me by the Democratic Alliance,” she said in a statement.
“I have not been formally notified of these charges by the South African Police Service (SAPS). Should criminal charges have been laid against me, I will co-operate openly and transparently with the SAPS. I deny and reject the reported allegations with the contempt it deserves,” De Lille said.
According to media reports on Sunday, the criminal charges laid by the DA came after a Vanderbijlpark businessman claimed she asked for a payment in relation to a potential deal involving fire extinguishers. “It’s believed the mayor asked for R5 million from businessman Anthony Faul,” EWN reported.
De Lille said the timing of this latest move raised many questions, such as “why this man Anthony Faul is conveniently coming forward now when the DA is charging me for other matters”.
“Firstly, why did he go to the DA first instead of going to the police? Why did he wait almost five years to make these allegations? This seems to be the latest of a string of moves to taint my name by clutching at anything and informing the media before allegations are properly tested.
“I have repeatedly asked for a fair process, yet the handling of this matter and the treatment towards me are clearly attempts to sway public perception against me instead of giving me a fair opportunity to state my case and to test the allegations properly.
“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the concerted efforts to damage my reputation and the haste to get rid of me is reaching desperate heights each day,” De Lille said.
– African News Agency (ANA)