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‘I want to clear my name’: De Lille

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Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says she remains focused on clearing her name through the Democratic Alliance’s disciplinary hearing processes and on governing the City of Cape Town.

“Today [Sunday] I received media inquiries about whether I am negotiating an exit with the Democratic Alliance,” she said.

She had received several settlement proposals from the DA leadership over the past few weeks. Some of these were already in the public domain, such as the offers she received to take up a seat within the National Assembly. All of these proposals had been initiated by the DA leadership. She remained consistent and resolute that she had been wrongly accused of a number of serious charges, De Lille said.

In the case of the Steenhuisen Report, she had already been found guilty without a proper hearing or without due process. She was seeking to have those findings reviewed and set aside in the Western Cape High Court.

“After decades of service to our country, and after almost a decade of service to the cause of the DA, I have built a reputation as a fighter of corruption and of leading a government of excellence. These allegations and accusations have caused me great reputational damage and have damaged our party and our flagship government.

“Under these circumstances my focus must be to clear my name and to restore my personal reputation and that of the government I have led for the past seven years. I am therefore focused on preparing for my disciplinary hearing,” De Lille said.

The DA had proposed dates for the hearing and she expected to be in a position to respond to their proposed dates once she had finalised the appointment of the counsel who would represent her. “I expect to announce my counsel this coming week. In the meantime my lawyers have indicated to the DA’s Federal Legal Commission that I expect the disciplinary hearing to be open to the media.”

De Lille said she respected the rule of law and the judgments of the Constitutional Court and the Western Cape High Court. This respect for the rule of law and the supremacy of the South African Constitution was also a principle of the DA as set out in its federal constitution.

Both these courts confirmed that a vote of no confidence was the ultimate sanction and the severest political consequence, and that public representatives should be entitled to vote freely with their conscience. In her case, for a free and secret vote on the motion of no confidence, the Western Cape High Court ordered that there should be no adverse consequences for any councillor no matter how they voted.

“Despite this order, the 40 DA councillors who voted against the motion have complained of victimisation and intimidation by other party members and public representatives of the party. I expect that the DA leadership will act swiftly against those who betray our party’s principles and against the order of court,” De Lille said.

[Source: African News Agency]
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