Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has made representations to the Democratic Alliance’s federal executive to say why she should not be removed from her post as mayor.
De Lille made the submissions on Wednesday as required by the DA’s new “recall” process, after the majority of the party’s Cape Town caucus last week supported an internal motion of no confidence in her.
The caucus’ reasons cited include accusations of breaching the code of conduct for councillors and the DA’s constitution, of publicly criticising the party for the way it has handled her case, and of her reluctance to “co-operate with the DA”.
De Lille’s representations, released to the media on Wednesday, include several defences against the internal charges against her, including that the alleged breaches were unspecified.
“I was (and am) accused of breaching unnamed and unspecified caucus confidentiality, unspecified provisions of the code of conduct for councillors as well as unspecified conditions of my suspension.
“Neither the conduct nor the relevant provisions of the respective codes are specified,” she said.
She also claimed she was not given sufficient opportunity to respond to the allegations in caucus.
Regarding her public statements against the party, she said they were as “a defence against attacks made on me by party members and leadership”.
“This ‘charge’ is bizarre given that the party has launched an aggressive media campaign against me,” she said, citing a page on the DA’s website on frequently asked questions about her position.
De Lille also believed that the party’s recall clause could not be applied retrospectively towards her and she did not have a fair opportunity to respond to the charges in caucus.
She also asked that party leader Mmusi Maimane, and other federal executive members Natasha Mazzone, Mike Waters, Bonginkosi Madikizela and James Selfe recuse themselves from her matter, claiming they were “biased” against her.
De Lille ultimately said she would challenge an “adverse” decision in court.
“As you may understand, given the circumstances, I have little faith in a positive result. The party is going through the motions in my view in order to implement its new recall clause.”
The federal executive will consider De Lille’s representations at its next meeting this weekend, before it makes a decision, Maimane’s spokesperson Portia Adams confirmed on Wednesday.
Maimane will hold a press briefing in Johannesburg on Saturday to relay the federal executive’s stance.
Allegations, court challenge
De Lille and some of her mayoral committee members have been the subject of a report compiled by the City of Cape Town council as well as an internal party report.
The council report, an “independent Bowman Gilfillan report” found apparent prima facie evidence against the mayor of “gross misconduct” and “dereliction of duty”, the federal executive said last week.
The contents of that report however, did not form part of the internal charges against her.
The internal “Steenhuisen report”, named after DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, alleged that De Lille was a vindictive leader who “clearly had something to hide”, News24 reported.
De Lille told journalists last Wednesday, following the successful motion against her, that she would challenge the constitutionality of her recall in court, saying she wanted a chance to clear her name publicly.
However, she would only do so once the federal executive process was concluded.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape High Court will rule on Thursday on De Lille’s request to have the “Steenhuisen report” set aside.[source: News24]