DA: Caucus in charge of Cape Town, not De Lille

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille may be back in office but she’s not necessarily in charge of the city.

The high court in Cape Town reinstated De Lille’s mayorship on Tuesday. In its reaction to the ruling, the DA said De Lille’s powers as mayor will be stripped and the caucus will instead make decisions that are ordinarily determined by the mayor.

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

“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),” Natasha Mazzone, deputy chairperson of the federal executive, said in a press statement.

Judges Patrick Gamble and Monde Samela said in their judgement that De Lille should return to office pending a court hearing to take place on May 25. The hearing will deal with De Lille’s application to review the DA’s cessation of membership clause on grounds that is unconstitutional. The clause was invoked by the party to terminate her membership and remove her from office.

If she succeeds in the review hearing, De Lille could remain mayor for a longer period of time than the two weeks Gamble and Samela have allowed her.

But the party says that it is unable to work with her and that the caucus has no faith in her leadership.

“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,” Mazzone said.

Gamble, reading the judgement on Tuesday, said that De Lille should be reinstated because the court is “genuinely concerned” about the stability of governance in Cape Town. The judge said that the “only reasonable” option available was to put De Lille back in office and re-establish her mayoral committee so that there is no “musical chairs” of an interim committee being appointed and then kicked out if the City has a new mayor.

Ian Neilson — who has now returned to his post as deputy mayor after serving as acting mayor while De Lille’s membership was terminated — has called his reinstated colleague a “lame duck”.

“Well, obviously she still has her statutory powers,” Neilson told News24. “But in practice she will be a lame duck mayor because, I mean, clearly the judges didn’t understand the dynamic properly when they thought that this was bringing stability. In fact, it’s going to achieve exactly the opposite.”

“Because, the party is going to ensure that its decisions are executed, so anything that she attempts to do will be subject to the approval of the DA caucus.”

De Lille, meanwhile, has tweeted photos of herself back in office and has said she would like to “rise above these differences”.

“We must put the city first,” she said. 

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

R1.1-billion land claim “captured”

This story was produced in partnership with Pulitzer Center. Details of the land claim settlement for MalaMala, one...

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...

Failure to investigate TRC cases during the Mandela era delayed...

Counsel for late trade unionist Neil Aggett’s family decries the slow pace of instituting an inquest into his death

SANDF colonel accused of swindling colleagues in UN business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

Press Releases

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.