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News

De Lille threatens legal action against DA

Patricia de Lille’s running battle with the Democratic Alliance leadership has flared up once again‚ with the under-fire Cape Town mayor on Monday threatening to take legal action against her own party for leaking the contents of an affidavit alleging that she tried to solicit a bribe.

De Lille on Monday evening tweeted portions of a letter sent by her legal team to federal chairman James Selfe over the publication of an affidavit by businessman Anthony Faul in the media at the weekend.

According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport‚ Faul alleged that De Lille had sought R5-million from him for endorsing his product‚ a fire extinguisher that he was marketing to use in informal settlements in the city. When he refused to pay‚ the endorsement was allegedly withdrawn.

The complaint dates back several years‚ but was only brought to the party’s attention by Faul last week.

The allegation resulted in criminal charges being laid against De Lille by the DA.

But the embattled mayor shot back on her verified Twitter account at exactly 5pm on Monday‚ posting two pictures of letters sent to Selfe. She said Faul’s claims were untrue.

The letter states that De Lille was sent a copy of Faul’s affidavit on January 30 and informed that this would form the basis of a charge against her – but that she would be given the chance to respond. But‚ her lawyers said‚ that the publication of the information in the weekend press showed a prejudice against her.

“We are instructed [by De Lille] that the DA had maliciously and with the intention to cause our client maximum reputation damage caused the contents of the Faul affidavit to be published in the media.

“In addition‚ the DA has caused criminal charges to be laid against our client based on the contents of the affidavit in circumstances where it must be clear that the allegations as contained in the affidavit are untested and more so uncorroborated… There was a duty on the DA to have tested the veracity of the allegations before it caused the affidavit to be published and or before it laid the criminal charge‚” the letter reads.

Her lawyers then went on full-on attack.

“The publication of the contents of the affidavit is reckless and malicious and clearly intended to have our client found guilty in the court of public opinion‚” the letter states.

Her lawyers said she was reserving her rights to take “appropriate action against the DA and Faul”.