Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Patricia de Lille‚ whose job as mayor of Cape Town is on the line at Sunday’s meeting of the DA’s top brass‚ practises rampant nepotism and cronyism.

This is one of the allegations made to a federal executive sub-committee‚ chaired by chief whip John Steenhuisen‚ which investigated the breakdown of relations in the City of Cape Town’s DA caucus.

Steenhuisen’s report said: "There appears to be a large amount of related-party employment practices undertaken. This is an extremely unhealthy situation as it has the potential to expose the party to charges of nepotism and cadre deployment‚ something we are extremely critical of the ANC for."

Mayoral committee member JP Smith made wide-ranging allegations of nepotism‚ cronyism‚ favouritism and interference in recruitment processes in a dossier about De Lille which he sent to party leader Mmusi Maimane last July. The dossier is in the possession of TimesLIVE.

He alleged that family members and friends of councillors had been employed in the offices of chief whip Shaun August and mayoral committee member Brett Herron‚ both members of De Lille’s faction.

De Lille’s sister‚ Veronica Paulse‚ was an executive support officer in Herron’s office‚ said Smith‚ and the mayor had engineered the appointment to the Cape Town Stadium management board of the unqualified daughter of a close friend.

The Steenhuisen report said when this appointment was halted by deputy mayor Ian Neilson‚ the mayor confronted him and "indicated that she would be expanding the board. This appears to have been done specifically to accommodate [the friend’s daughter]."

Smith also alleged that several nepotistic appointments had been made in De Lille’s office‚ including a job for the wife of a provincial leader who is friends with the mayor.

He added: "Over the last nine months we have seen nepotistic appointments being made through councillor Shaun August [as the chief whip] involving the children of various councillors closely aligned to the mayor and the chief whip as well as the spouses of various [mayoral committee] members themselves."

These candidates had been employed despite not meeting the minimum requirements for the posts. For example‚ the carpenter son of a councillor had been employed as a researcher.

"This has all happened with the approval of the mayor‚ who has signed off on these appointments. The most recent of these seems to be the employment of the chief whip’s sister-in-law as an executive assistant to chairperson of subcouncil 4‚" said Smith.

The Steenhuisen report deals in detail with the case of former "poo protester" Loyiso Nkohla‚ who was hired after he joined the DA in 2016 during the local government election campaign.

"It remains unclear how Mr Nkohla was employed by the city but what is beyond dispute is that his entry into the city administration was facilitated by the mayor‚" said the report.

It said Nkohla enjoyed special status. "He has repeatedly been heard to have used the phrase‚ ‘I act with the mandate of the mayor’."

Herron could not be reached for comment and August declined to comment. De Lille said: "I have made my response to the federal executive on Sunday ... I am going to wait for the outcome of my submission to the federal executive."

Steenhuisen said he could not comment on what steps should be taken over the allegations of nepotism.

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