D-Day for De Lille to defend her office

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has until 3pm on Wednesday to make representations to the Democratic Alliance’s federal executive on why she should be allowed to remain mayor.

De Lille’s submission comes a week after the majority of the DA caucus in Cape Town voted in support of an internal motion of no confidence in her. The federal executive will consider her representations before deciding on whether to invoke the party’s recall clause to force her resignation.

READ MORE: De Lille: DA amended its Constitution to remove me

But De Lille has vowed to clear her name and says she is prepared to make her submissions to the DA.

“I’m ready for the submission. It should be in before 3pm in the afternoon and I’m ready. I’ve always said I’m prepared to subject myself to due process and I’ll just follow the process or the procedures,” De Lille told EWN.

The federal executive is expected to make a decision on the recall clause in coming days, after delays in disciplinary hearings against De Lille and a protracted public spat with the mayor which has seen each side making allegations against the other.

Earlier this week, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the party had put pressure on the Cape Town caucus to resolve the issues around De Lille.

“The matter has dragged on for too long, I have written to the caucus and we are taking complete control of that situation,” Maimane said.

The Cape Town caucus voted in support of the motion of no confidence because De Lille had brought the party into disrepute, federal executive deputy chairperson Natasha Mazzone said in a statement shortly after the vote.

“The caucus had lost faith in Ms De Lille as she had repeatedly breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors as well as the Constitution of the DA, had brought the DA into disrepute and the breached of the conditions of her suspension,” Mazzone said.

Editorial: DA at a critical juncture

The caucus also voted against her, Mazzone said, because her “conduct in the public domain” in responding to the party’s corruption allegations against her has “amounted to frequent criticisms of the DA … to the extent that it appears that she does not consider herself part of the DA any longer”.

De Lille meanwhile has accused the DA of adopting the recall clause into its Constitution to get rid of her.

The clause 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, may be asked to vacate their post 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,” the clause reads.

De Lille has said that she is prepared to challenge the constitutionality of the recall clause in court, but her fate is still to be decided.

“We’ve to wait for the outcome. I’ll be putting any concern which I have in my submission,” she said. 

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

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