Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has been cleared of allegations that upgrades to her personal home were paid for by the City, the Cape Argus reported. The auditor-general reportedly investigated the issue and found that the expenditure did not need to be "disclosed as irregular expenditure as a result of noncompliance with supply chain management laws and regulations".
De Lille is facing a probe conducted by the DA into political problems within the City that have led to governance issues, and a separate probe into whether she covered up wrongdoing by another city official. There was also an allegation that upgrades to her home were irregular.
In an interview with Talk Radio 702 on Tuesday, De Lille said the allegations against her were part of a smear campaign. According to Business Live, she said: "If there is anybody‚ anywhere in South Africa‚ in the City of Cape Town, that has got any proof of corruption‚ that I have actually benefited one cent from the city's money, they must please bring that evidence because I'm prepared to subject myself to any investigation.
"Let's follow due process to arrive at an outcome. I am being found guilty. I am being smeared as if I'm corrupt without any due process being followed‚" she said. "These allegations must all be tested then we can make a decision."
According to the Cape Argus, the auditor-general found that the upgrades to her home, conducted after a mandatory police security assessment, were above board and were of good value for money. De Lille reportedly showed the Cape Argus the other upgrades to her home, not paid for by the City, which included the removal of her swimming pool owing to the drought.
The City reportedly paid R140,139.98 for security gates and electrical fencing. A total amount of R720,000 was budgeted for the upgrades but De Lille reportedly refused other upgrades that she considered to be excessive.
But News24 reported that an independent investigation by Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys had found that De Lille might be guilty of gross misconduct. This is because she allegedly covered up for City officials.
This weekend, the DA's federal executive is set to review De Lille's reasons for why she should not resign. De Lille wrote to Bowman Gilfillan on January 3 pointing out what she considered were factual errors in the report, and reportedly said she felt "unfairly defamed and embarrassed by it".