The home of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille was put under 24-hour guard on Wednesday after the ANC revealed information about security upgrades at the property.
Council speaker Dirk Smit said the ANC’s “reckless” release of a R140 000 invoice for top-of-the-line security barriers had jeopardised the safety of De Lille’s home in Pinelands.
“As a consequence of the actions of the ANC and others‚ I will have to deploy the city’s VIP protection services to the mayor’s house 24 hours a day‚” said Smit.
Security upgrades at De Lille’s home‚ which she shares with her husband and adult son‚ have been at the centre of a row between her and mayoral committee member JP Smith which led to their suspension from DA activities on Tuesday pending the results of a party investigation.
In a letter to DA leaders on August 20‚ Smith raised the possibility that one of the reasons for De Lille’s closure of the special investigations unit in his safety and security department was that security equipment had been installed irregularly at the mayor’s home.
On Wednesday‚ Xolani Sontashe‚ leader of the ANC opposition in the City of Cape Town‚ attempted to address the security and social services portfolio committee about De Lille’s security upgrades but was prevented from doing so by the committee’s DA chairman‚ Mzwakhe Nqavashe.
Outside the meeting‚ Sotashe showed reporters an invoice from Trellidor for five Clearguard security barriers — consisting of stainless steel mesh screens in aluminium frames. The R140 000 invoice‚ dated June 6 and sent to the City of Cape Town‚ showed that the equipment had been installed at the “mayor’s residence”.
In a statement on Monday‚ De Lille said: “Regarding renovations at my house‚ these were paid for by myself and I am prepared to make the proof of these payments made by myself known as part of the proper legal processes.”
Smit’s statement on Wednesday said the Cape Town mayor‚ like other political office-bearers‚ was entitled to security upgrades at her “ordinary‚ modest home which she paid for herself”.
He added: “This is in spite of the fact that the mayor is entitled to an official residence paid for by council‚ which she has repeatedly refused.
“With the council’s receipts of the security work done at the mayor’s house being made public‚ these security features have now been compromised.
“The safety upgrades undertaken at the mayor’s house were based on a risk analysis report and recommendations from a special unit within the South African Police Service.
“The same way any resident would not make details of their security features at their homes known to all and sundry‚ the sharing of this information has placed the mayor and her family at risk.
“I will be reporting this to the SAPS‚ who will have to reassess the mayor’s house and council will have to redo the safety measures because these measures have been compromised with the details being made public.”
Source: TMG Digital.