ANC demands probe into Maimane over De Lille rumpus

17 January 2018 - 13:52 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane.
Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane.

The ANC wants parliament to take action against DA leader Mmusi Maimane for his role in factional fights roiling the City of Cape Town.

It will ask parliament’s ethics committee to investigate Maimane and the DA federal legal commission chairman‚ Glynnis Breytenbach‚ for being in possession of confidential city council forensic reports.

The allegation relates to more than 1‚000 files which became central to the fallout between mayor Patricia de Lille and the executive director in her office‚ Craig Kesson.

The mayor accused Kesson of leaking the documents to the party after Breytenbach allegedly called officials of the city demanding more information about them.

The accusations are still under dispute after a confidential report claimed it was in fact De Lille who supplied the documents‚ an allegation the mayor denies.

In disputing a damning investigative report by attorneys Bowman Gilfillans‚ De Lille said she had a letter from Maimane in which he confirmed he did not get the reports from her.

The ANC leader in the City of Cape Town‚ Xolani Sotashe‚ told reporters on Wednesday the party’s MPs would be asked to raise the issue with parliament’s ethics committee and its chairman.

“We are not members of parliament‚ we are members of the council. When there is a questionable behaviour by members of another government sphere‚ you report to that sphere ... and they must deal with it‚” said Sotashe.

He said the ANC was not happy with the behaviour of Maimane and Breytenbach. “Mmusi obtained a confidential report of the City of Cape Town via a wrong channel. The city council had not even seen the information‚” said Sotashe.

The information he was referring to was not brought to the council‚ as the law required‚ and this was one of the reasons De Lille was being investigated by the city council.

“In other words‚ [Maimane] stole information of another government sphere to use it for DA political agendas. We want to complain about Breytenbach that as an MP‚ she had no right to call officials of the City of Cape Town and threaten them‚ asking for more information‚” said Sotashe.

The question is, how did they get access to that information?
Xolani Sotashe

He also criticised Maimane and DA federal executive chairman James Selfe for speaking about details in the Bowman Gilfillan report‚ which is still confidential.

“The question is‚ how did they get access to that information and yet other councillors in the City of Cape Town are restricted in talking about this thing openly to the public? These are double standards.”

The ANC also plans to ask the auditor-general to re-examine the City of Cape Town’s audit outcomes over several years in light of revelations about possible maladministration in the council’s transport and urban development authority.

ANC provincial chairman Khaya Magaxa said if the DA was going to get rid of De Lille‚ her deputy‚ Ian Nielson‚ should also go.

“We will be against them targeting Patricia de Lille alone because we believe that in the process they want to [protect] other people who are loyal to them‚ who are white like Ian Nielson [who was] the chair of the finance committee.

“There is no money that would have been taken from the city coffers without the chairperson’s knowledge ... therefore there is no way you can deal with Patricia and leave the deputy mayor‚” said Magaxa.