Mayco members Xanthea Limberg and JP Smith own a house together
Sacked mayor Patricia De Lille has apparently lifted the lid on the City’s best-kept secret.

She claims mayco members Xanthea Limberg and JP Smith are a couple and have plotted her downfall from their bed.

This was revealed in the Cape Times on Monday, where De Lille said claims that she attempted to influence the decision to appoint Achmat Ebrahim as City manager emanated from “Xanthea and Smith under the pillowcase”.

Limberg and Smith have not denied hulle knyp die kat in die donker, but the DA has slammed De Lille’s comments as “disgusting, sexist and racist”.

The SMS, which De Lille had allegedly sent to Limberg, as well as a dossier letter written by Smith, detailing allegations of bullying in De Lille’s leadership style, were among key evidence in the report compiled by the DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen.

Ebrahim resigned from his position early this year.

De Lille’s texts

On Sunday, De Lille denied sending such an SMS, questioning why the text only materialised now when it was allegedly sent on 28 September 2016.

“The authenticity of that SMS needs to be checked out,” she said.

She said Limberg, who is Mayco Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, must explain why she had kept quiet about the SMS for the past five months, even though her lawyers had asked for it.

“Is it because of her handlers telling her? She is instructed by her handlers. All of a sudden now it is appearing. I am also wondering where the SMS appeared. It appears from Xanthea and Smith’s pillowcase,” said De Lille.

Asked if he and Limberg were a couple, Smith told the Cape Times: “It’s none of your business.”

He also slammed De Lille as “racist” and defended Limberg’s honour.

“The mayor is a racist. Every time a person of colour does something she doesn’t like she calls them a puppet as if they are unable to make up their own mind. Xanthea Limberg is not a person anyone can influence. She has a strong will and a clear idea of what is right and wrong, and will not allow herself to be manipulated or influenced by anybody, which includes Patricia de Lille,” he said.

Asked whether he wanted to become a mayor, Smith said: “I have no ambitions of becoming a mayor, there are better people than me.”

While Limberg has confirmed she and Smith co-own a house in Hout Bay, she would not deny she was in a relationship with him.

She told the Daily Voice: “My relationship status is of absolutely no relevance to the media or the public.

“If at any point my relationship status with anyone became relevant to my ability to perform my job as a public representative, I would not hesitate to share it.

Former mayor Patricia de Lille. Photo: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

“If De Lille so openly denies having sent such an SMS, I would encourage that she makes her telephone records available for forensic investigation, as I am willing to do with mine.

“On arrival at the panel for the selection of a new City Manager on 28 September 2016 I received an SMS from Mayor Patricia de Lille instructing me to score Achmat Ebrahim the highest. I did not respond to her SMS as I found it to be highly inappropriate,” she said, adding that she took the “necessary action in escalating the matter”.

Limberg says she lives in the northern suburbs, but owns two investment properties.

“In terms of the Hout Bay property, it is no secret that I put down part finance for this purchase alongside Alderman Smith who is the majority shareholder.

“This property is a dual-living property between Smith and his family and I obtain a monthly rental for my portion of the property from the Smiths.”

The Daily Voice asked City spokesperson Priya Reddy if City policy allows officials to be romantically involved, but she refused to respond.

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