Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Thursday denied disclosing to the media the source of a dossier alleging corruption in the multi-billion rand arms deal. Jennifer Cane, for the department of defence, asked De Lille if she was familiar with a newspaper article in which it was reported that she attributed the contents of her arms deal dossier to a man named Bheki Jacobs. Jacobs died in 2008, she said.
The article, said Cane, showed that De Lille revealed Jacobs as the man behind the arms deal dossier to journalists at his funeral. De Lille was at the funeral in September 2008 where she was interviewed by journalists regarding his life, said Cane.
“You attributed much of the information in the dossier to Bheki Jacobs, according to the article,” said Cane.
De Lille denied the allegation, and insisted on being given a few minutes to go through the article before she could respond fully. After reading the article, De Lille said the sentence in the report, in which Jacobs was stated as the source of the dossier, was not attributed to her.
“The article does not attribute that to me, but to a source… it says he was the source of the dossier, I didn’t say that,” she said.
Cane quoted De Lille in the article: “He (Jacobs) has done a lot, he was just protecting his country, he wanted to see his country succeed.”
Cane said she wondered why De Lille denied the link to Jacobs.
“The only reason for you attending the funeral was to pay your last respects to Jacobs… he helped his country as you said. You had words to speak about him but deny any link of you to him.”
Throughout the hearing on Thursday, De Lille reiterated she did not compile the dossier, but that it was given to her by a group of ANC MPs.
She merely wanted the allegations in the dossier to be investigated, she said. She told the commission she would never reveal who the dossier came from.
Earlier, De Lille withdrew a statement she made that officials lied to politicians regarding job creation figures through the multi-billion rand arms deal offsets.
“I withdraw the statement that it was a lie. The 55,000 jobs were the projections. I withdraw the earlier statement,” she said.
She told the commission that she did not have the actual figures, and that what she had before her were projections. She was being cross-examined by the legal representative for the department of trade and industry.
The commission finished hearing De Lille’s evidence on Thursday.
De Lille was the initial whistleblower in Parliament regarding the arms deal, and in 1999 called for an investigation.
The commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, was appointed by President Jacob Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the country’s multi-billion rand arms procurement deal in 1999.
The commission adjourned until August 5 and 6 when Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier is expected to give his testimony. Maynier, who was scheduled to testify on Friday, asked for a two-week extension. SAPA