READ: DA federal executive’s statement on De Lille’s reinstatement

The judgment of the Western Cape High Court is not in the best interests of the people of Cape Town. It is unfortunate that Ms De Lille continues to put her individual interests above those of the citizens of Cape Town by using legal technicalities to cling on to power.

We will not relent in our mission to put Cape Town first and ensure that maladministration and misconduct is kept out of the mayoral office. Our electoral promise in 2016 was to keep corruption out of Cape Town and continue delivering better services.

Ms De Lille’s occupation of the mayoral office does not honour that promise. And that is why we will be relentless in pursuing what is right for the city of Cape Town.

READ MORE: Court rules De Lille should return to office in interim

De Lille has displayed the utmost disdain for the office that she held and the people of this city who voted in a DA government, as evidenced by the serious evidence of maladministration and unethical leadership that she stands accused of.

She has acted in a manner which suggests that she no longer views herself as a DA Mayor and will do anything to undermine the party, of whose membership she ironically is fighting tooth and nail to retain.

As recently as last week, De Lille is said to have been actively seeking ANC membership in a bid to gain some sort of ambassadorship or other plum position. It is inconceivable that the DA would be expected to work with a mayor who has lost the confidence of two-thirds of the caucus that she leads on no less than two occasions.

Furthermore, as was articulated by the councillors who briefed the media yesterday, her autocratic leadership style has divided the caucus and threatened their ability to perform their roles as public servants.

This is obstructive and shifts attention away from what councillors are meant to be doing; serving the people of Cape Town.

In true Zuma-like style, De Lille is now clearly clinging onto power for power itself. She has long forgotten the people who have voted for the party that she once represented. She is now clearly on only one mission — to destroy anyone and anything that will seek to hold her accountable for her actions.

De Lille will now act in only a ceremonial role, with substantive governance decisions to be taken by the DA caucus in the interests of the people of Cape Town (while enjoying the benefits of a Mayoral Salary at rate-payer expense).

In a manner, which is consistent with previous behaviour, she lambasted Councillor Xanthea Limberg for exposing the text message that De Lille had sent Limberg, demanding that the former City of Cape Town City Manager be scored highest in order for her to ‘keep him’.

She has yet to deny that she sent this SMS. In her comments she showed her disdain for anyone who speaks out against her autocratic and unethical leadership.

We continue to challenge De Lille to submit her cellphone records for the time period concerned for forensic investigation. For someone who is claiming that they have nothing to hide, this should be an easy concession to make.

This is in addition to the victimisation and bullying to which she subjected her then Executive Director, Craig Kesson and the head of probity, Ms Lindiwe Ndaba.

The only bully on display in this matter is Ms De Lille, no one else.

We remain confident that the substantive case on the cessation of De Lille’s party’s membership will be successful.

We remain resolute in our commitment to make our case to the courts, as the principle of political parties holding their elected representatives to account for their misconduct has serious and far reaching implications, and is an important precedent.

We recognise that this is a confusing time for the people of Cape Town, and it is deeply regrettable that this matter drags on as a direct result of Ms De Lille’s actions and intransigence.

We apologise for any uncertainty that has been created by her. We are only pursuing this matter because we remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering clean and effective governance, with zero tolerance for maladministration or irregularities of any kind.

Unlike De Lille, the DA takes the mandate the people have given us to govern very seriously and will never take it for granted.

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

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