Top city executive threatens to sue embattled Cape Town Mayor De Lille

Cape Town – The lawyers of Craig Kesson on Friday threatened to sue Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille for substantial damages for her "heinous defamations", adding to her woes amid apparent divisions in the city's top leadership and the DA.

Kesson, the executive director in De Lille's office, sent out a letter through his lawyers John MacRobert Attorneys on Friday.

The lawyers had given De Lille until the end of Friday to "retract unconditionally and unreservedly, and apologise unequivocally" to Kesson on all public media and social media platforms that she had used to accuse him of being a liar.

The law firm also threatened to make the contents of the letter, which was apparently sent to De Lille on December 1, public and available on all public media and social network platforms if the deadline was not met.

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De Lille told News24 on Friday evening that the letter was received at 08:30 on Friday.

"We responded to say that the timeframe was unreasonable and that we could not respond in such a short time," de Lille said.

De Lille accused of planning to discredit official

About a month ago, allegations against De Lille, made by Kesson and detailed in a 42-page affidavit, became public.

In his affidavit, Kesson claimed that De Lille had planned to publicly discredit a senior city staffer who questioned alleged tender irregularities.  

He also claimed that De Lille had asked that a report into a possible R43m loss regarding another tender be made to "go away".

In response to Kesson's affidavit, De Lille issued a statement saying that his "false" disclosures could not be viewed as the actions of a whistleblower, but were instead a criminal offence.

The federal executive is expected to make a decision about De Lille's fate on Sunday.

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