/ 25 October 2018

Five Cape Town councillors resign in support of De Lille

In an unprecedented show of support
In an unprecedented show of support, five members of the DA caucus in the Cape Town council resigned in support of Patricia de Lille. (Gallo)

The Democratic Alliance caucus in the Cape Town Council has shrunk as five members of the caucus resigned in an unprecedented show of support for outgoing mayor Patricia de Lille.

Both caucus deputy leader JP Smith and De Lille confirmed the resignations to the Mail & Guardian.

They are:

  • Shaun August (Chief Whip)
  • Siya Mamkeli (area-based mayoral committee member).
  • Suzette Little (area-based mayoral committee member)
  • Greg Bernardo (councillor Atlantis)
  • Thulani Stemele (councillor Mfuleni)

August is known to be among De Lille’s fiercest supporters in Council. He has said that he can no longer serve a party that treats black members to a different standard than white members. 

Bonginkosi Madikizela, the DA provincial leader, reacted to the news saying the party looked forward to Dan Plato’s succession as mayor on November 1.

“The DA notes the resignation of 5 councillors from the City of Cape Town caucus. We will await a full report from our caucus leadership in the City. We wish them luck in their future endeavours,” Madikizela said.

“We look forward to the mayor-elect, Dan Plato, to bring much-needed stability, unity of purpose and mature leadership. Our focus always has been delivering to the residents of Cape Town, the people who elected us,” he said.

The resignations were announced during the first council meeting on Thursday morning following the release of two investigative reports by law firm Bowmans.

De Lille has emphatically maintained her innocence as one report has found her guilty of wrongdoing for preventing former city manager Achmat Ebrahim from reporting irregular payments to council in relation to R43-million for Volvo bus chassis. It recommends De Lille be “sanctioned” by council and suggests council refer to sections of the Municipal Systems Act which may have been violated. De Lille could face imprisonment if the charges are proven.

Another report however, has cleared De Lille of wrongdoing in the same alleged offence.

The council will decide on Thursday if it will adopt the reports and their recommendations.