The Democratic Alliance caucus in Cape Town has voted in favour of asking the party’s federal executive if it may table an internal motion of no confidence in Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.
DA caucus deputy leader JP Smith confirmed on Monday that the caucus had met and voted to move forward with an internal motion of no confidence.
An internal motion of no confidence means that it would only be members of the DA caucus who would vote for or against De Lille and not all parties represented in the city council.
In a previous motion of no confidence earlier this year, De Lille triumphed because members of the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters voted in her favour. She later credited their support for her survival in the motion of no confidence.
This means De Lille would not have the support of other parties to back her up.
According to Smith, on Monday 66% of the DA caucus voted in favour of permission being sought from the federal executive for the motion, while 10% of its members abstained.
When asked if the DA’s “De Lille Clause” could be used against the mayor, Smith responded to the Mail & Guardian: “Yes, subject to decision by the fedex [federal executive].”
The clause was recently adopted at the party’s federal congress and states that a DA member elected or appointed to an executive role – such as premier or mayor – and has lost the confidence of their caucus, can be asked to resign from office within 48 hours.
“Failure by that member to resign will lead to the cessation of his or her membership of the party in terms of section 126.96.36.199,” the clause reads.
The office-bearer should be allowed to make representations before such action is taken, according to the clause.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane has insisted that the clause cannot be used retrospectively and therefore will not affect De Lille. But Smith has previously argued that a new motion of no confidence would be a new matter rather than a retrospective issue.
Smith said the caucus will submit a letter on Monday asking the federal executive for the go-ahead on the motion.
“It’s not possible to predict how long they will take to consider the issue,” he said.