The ANC in the Western Cape says it still recognises Patricia de Lille as the mayor of Cape Town, and it wants her future to be decided through the council via a secret ballot vote.
Senior leaders in the provincial ANC addressed the media on Wednesday following De Lille’s ousting from the DA, and subsequently from her position in the council, on Tuesday.
De Lille, following her ousting on Tuesday, told the media she would be approaching the courts on an urgent basis to have her removal challenged. The matter is expected to be heard on Friday.
The ANC said on Wednesday it believed her removal as mayor was not constitutional and that the City of Cape Town should remove her from office, as it was the body that elected her as mayor.
“As the ANC we view the DA’s ‘De Lille clause’ as a violation of both the city council’s independence and executive mandate of elected officials, as elected by the people of the City of Cape Town,” provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs told the media at a press briefing.
“De Lille and other councillors are deployed by their political parties but are ultimately elected by the citizens of Cape Town to the city council.”
“The DA cannot use public officials to do their dirty work. The ANC will protect good governance in the City and focus all political parties on the work of the City and nothing else.”
The party will instruct its councillors in the City to reject any further uses of the DA’s constitution to remove an elected mayor from office when they lobby for a council process on De Lille’s future.
“We will put weight behind [a] secret ballot for a free voice of democracy and protection of all those who want to exercise their democratic right,” Jacobs added, speaking of councillors in the City.
“The ANC is also prepared to petition the national government to bring this circus to an end in this regard, where the crisis persists. We will ask the national government to put the City of Cape Town under administration.”
ANC Western Cape elections head Ebrahim Rasool also weighed in on the saga.
Rasool said there was an “unconstitutional attempt to capture the City of Cape Town”, and the ANC therefore supported De Lille’s case to have her removal interdicted through the courts.
Interdict around vacancy
The party also said the IEC needed to declare the vacancy before it was official.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), however, has confirmed that it has received notification from the City of Cape Town that there is a vacancy in the council.
The IEC’s Reverend Courtney Sampson said the commission did not have to declare the vacancy, as it was a council matter. The city manager only has to satisfy himself that everything is in order and notify the commission.
The IEC received a letter from Cape Town city manager Lungelo Mbandazayo on Tuesday morning, so early in fact that “they didn’t even know they had received it”, he said.
Sampson, however, did say that the IEC would halt all other processes, including those around filling De Lille’s vacancy, until after the court’s decision on the request for an urgent court date.
The IEC was interdicted from proceeding further by De Lille’s lawyers, and it will wait for the legal process to unfold before taking the next step, he said. — News 24