Cape Town whistleblower accuses mayor de Lille of defamation

30 November 2017 - 16:21 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Image: Lerato Maduna/Gallo Images

A top official at the City of Cape Town has accused mayor Patricia de Lille of defamation amid a heated public spat over misconduct and possible corruption in the municipality.

In a statement on the city website‚ Craig Kesson — executive director at De Lille’s office — said he was taking legal advice about De Lille’s reply to an affidavit in which he made allegations of possible corruption and misconduct in the city‚ implicating the mayor.

“I note the reference in the statement to alleged [unspecified] criminal conduct on my part which has now been widely published by the mayor and which I believe is defamatory of me. I am taking legal advice and reserve my rights‚” said Kesson.

In her statement‚ De Lille slammed Kesson‚ saying he was not acting in good faith or without animosity “towards people who he vilifies in his affidavit”.

She said: “I am advised that the disclosure of false information purportedly under the legislation which he invokes is a criminal offence.”

De Lille also accused Kesson of leaking information and “selective documentation” to certain politicians. “This is suggestive of a political campaign.” On Thursday‚ Kesson said he bore no malice against “any official or the mayor and have acted at all times in good faith in my duties” in the interests of good governance.

“My interest is in seeing that these matters are properly considered by council in the city’s and the public interest. It is for council and not me to decide what to do with the reports and affidavits before it‚” he said.

Kesson‚ city manager Achmat Ebrahim and transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead face suspension by the council on Tuesday pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct and possible corruption.