City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has denied any wrongdoing after it emerged that the Democratic Alliance has laid criminal charges against her, in connection with allegations of bribery by a Johannesburg businessman.
"It has come to my attention that criminal charges have apparently been laid against me by the Democratic Alliance," said De Lille in a statement on Sunday.
I deny and reject the reported allegations with the contempt it deserves.
DA Federal Executive chairperson James Selfe confirmed that the party had approached the police on Saturday, with an affidavit they had received from businessman Anthony Faul.
Selfe said the affidavit stemmed back to an incident from the end of 2012 when Faul was apparently in negotiations with the City of Cape Town over a contract for fire extinguishers for informal settlements.
The allegation is that "at a point the mayor indicated that he would get the contract if he made a payment of R5 million to her".
According to Faul's affidavit, he allegedly refused this and the contract never went through.
On Sunday, De Lille questioned why Faul had waited so long to come forward with his allegations.
"Why [is] this man, Anthony Faul... conveniently coming forward now when the DA is charging me for other matters," she queried.
DA 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'
Asked about the time delay, Selfe said receiving the unsolicited affidavit last week had put the party in a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" scenario.
According to the law, one had to take action if you knew of a possible crime committed.
"If you don't take action then you are committing a crime," said Selfe.
He said the party had also lodged the affidavit with her attorneys.
Noting the time delay, he said that Faul had expressed a desire to lay a charge at the time but was dissuaded from doing so by attorneys who had told him he would have been a "man alone against a big organisation".
"In view of the recent allegations, he felt that it was his duty to add his voice to many others alleging malpractice and maladministration," said Selfe.
Moves to taint my name – De Lille
On Sunday, De Lille described the laying of charges as "the latest of a string of moves to taint my name..."
"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," she declared.
The Cape Town city council is due to convene for a special sitting to debate a motion of no confidence in the embattled mayor on February 15.
For months, De Lille has been the focus of several serious allegations and claims, many of which have been levelled at her by colleagues.