No replacement found for De Lille hearing panel

The Democratic Alliance has yet to find a member to replace the panellist who recused himself from the disciplinary panel that would hear the proceedings into Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s conduct.

DA federal executive chair James Selfe said that a panellist to replace Pogiso Monchusi, a councillor from the North West who recused himself last week, had “not yet” been found, but the party aims to begin the disciplinary proceedings against de Lille “asap”.

Monchusi withdrew from the panel last week after De Lille’s lawyers argued he should be removed. After the proceedings adjourned on Thursday, De Lille told journalists that Monchusi is not “fit and proper” to be a member of the panel.

His recusal has led to the hearing being indefinitely postponed until the party finds a replacement.

The postponement has marked an early victory for De Lille who has suggested that Monchusi was not an impartial panellist because of his alleged links to councillors who she says want her removed from the party.

De Lille has seen widespread support from opposition parties, particularly the ANC in Cape Town, for her bid to remain in office as potential disciplinary action from her party looms.

“We can differ on many issues and ideologies; but, in principle, we cannot stand by and watch a white cabal in the DA terrorise black and coloured people,” ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe told the Cape Argus. “That is just wrong. They have used De Lille and many other coloured leaders and now they are being dumped like used condoms. De Lille has our backing and we will continue to expose the DA for what they really are.”

The DA, meanwhile, says that it has legitimate reasons to conduct a disciplinary hearing into De Lille’s alleged misconduct.

Selfe last week said that the party would like the disciplinary proceedings to wrap up quickly so the DA can focus more on the 2019 national elections.

De Lille has said that the hearings are an opportunity to clear her name after the party has accused her of corrupt activity. 

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Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

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