De Lille demands Maimane recuses himself from the federal executive for ‘bias’

"The party is going through the motions in my view in order to implement its new recall clause,” said Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille (Jaco Marais/Netwerk 24)

"The party is going through the motions in my view in order to implement its new recall clause,” said Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille (Jaco Marais/Netwerk 24)

In a submission to the Democratic Alliance, embattled Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has demanded that senior party leaders recuse themselves from the federal executive because they have acted with ‘bias’ against her.

De Lille submitted representations to the opposition party’s federal executive on Wednesday afternoon following an internal motion of no confidence where the party’s Cape Town caucus voted against her.

The list of people De Lille has asked to be recused from the federal executive include:

  • Mmusi Maimane
  • Natasha Mazzone
  • Mike Waters
  • Bonginkosi Madikizela
  • James Selfe

The mayor accused all five of bias saying each had made public comments on social media or to journalists indicating they believe she is guilty of corruption despite the fact that no findings have been made against her by the federal executive or party’s disciplinary committee.

Maimane, she said, had “publicly stated I’m running away from accountability”, while Selfe had issued a “hostile statement… accusing me of trying to gain public sympathy”.

An annexure providing details of the public comments by these senior officials was attached to her submission to the federal executive.

De Lille’s defence

De Lille also blasted the DA Cape Town caucus for making “unnamed, unspecified allegations” against her to bring the internal motion of no confidence. She says the federal executive, in allowing the motion, had not given the motion due consideration.

“The reasons listed to motivate my removal lack detail such as the name of the complainant, or specific examples of transgressions with dates,” she said in her submission.

“Had the matter been properly considered, surely the FedEx would have wanted to know more details in order to assess the seriousness of the allegations of transgressions as well as the dates of the transgressions in order to ensure that there is not an attempt the [recall] clause retroactively?” she said.

Maimane had previously stated that the party’s recall clause — which allows for the removal of a party member in executive office if the caucus loses confidence in them — would not be applied retrospectively.

But De Lille has said that in the caucus’s complaint it refers to her conduct in the months since the DA has made corruption allegations against her through its own investigations.

She also defended herself by saying that she had not been given a proper opportunity to respond to the complaints the caucus has raised, saying she was “denied” the chance to respond to “false allegations” by the caucus chairperson.

The federal executive will now consider her representations and decide whether it will invoke the recall clause.

De Lille has threatened to take the party to court in her submission, saying she believes that the finding the federal executive makes will be against her.

“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,” she said. 

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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