NEWS
11/01/2018 05:54 SAST | Updated 11/01/2018 05:55 SAST

DA on De Lille Saga: Party Will Act In Best Interests Of Capetonians

De Lille has hit back saying this was another attack on her which had to do with "power and positions".

Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille speaks during the C40 Cities Women4Climate event in New York City, U.S., March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille speaks during the C40 Cities Women4Climate event in New York City, U.S., March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Chairperson of the DA's federal executive James Selfe has called on members of the party to refrain from publicly commenting on Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille as the allegations against her would be dealt with officially this coming weekend.

On Wednesday, the DA's Western Cape executive announced it wants De Lille to leave her post as mayor.

But De Lille hit back saying this was another attack on her which had to do with "power and positions".

Later on Wednesday, Selfe issued a statement saying the DA was "disappointed that some sections of the party are ventilating their thoughts" about De Lille through the media.

"The matter is currently before the federal executive of the DA, as the highest decision-making body of the party, which will meet on Sunday to thoroughly engage with all aspects of the allegations against the executive mayor and the divisions within that caucus," he said.

"Ultimately, the DA will act in the best interests of the people of Cape Town and it is vital that this process is allowed to go ahead and not be prejudiced considering the serious nature of the allegations."

'Madikizela will be handed a poisoned chalice'

Other political parties also weighed in on the matter.

The ANC said the public friction within the DA was a sign that the party is falling apart at "great speed".

ANC Western Cape leader Khaya Magaxa said it was "clear" that the DA planned to replace De Lille with its Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.

"Madikizela [will be] handed a poisoned chalice as the present DA problems started under erstwhile mayor Zille... like the dwindling water supply and poor management of the resource," Madikizela said in a statement.

"De Lille may be ejected to make way for Madikizela – who is now said to be rejected as future premier to follow after Zille – but, the ills of the DA will not go away. [They] will intensify.

"Therefore, the DA is on a slippery slope as it has already shed about half of its support base in recent months."

'We no longer support the DA'

ACDP councillor in the City of Cape Town Grant Haskin said: "We no longer support the DA now that it is applying subjective principles instead of objective facts and evidence arising out of concluded disciplinary processes.

"For the ACDP its always about right and wrong regardless of gender or age – not about whether we like the mayor or not." Last week, the ACDP also issued a statement on developments about allegations against City officials.

"For many years the ACDP has maintained that the DA is not the squeaky clean, corruption-free party it presents itself to be and that Cape Town is no exception," it said.

The party also commented on a confidential report by independent investigators from Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys, dated December 29, which detailed allegations against, among others, De Lille.

It found she may be guilty of gross misconduct for allegedly advising City manager Achmat Ebrahim that he need not report to the City council an allegation of misconduct against Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner of the transport and urban development authority, relating to alleged irregularities involving payments to companies Volvo and Scania for bus chassis.
The report was not made public by the City.

"We disagree completely with council's decision that the Bowman report should remain confidential. Every other report including affidavits from those making and refuting allegations, have been made public and this report should be treated no differently," the ACDP said.

"Ratepayers have the right to know."

'Tip of the iceberg'

On Tuesday, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa issued a statement on the matter, saying it was more serious than it was being publicly portrayed as.
"The Cape Town scenario demonstrates that the DA seems to prefer a 'kangaroo court style' of ousting who, we can only surmise, they find as 'undesirable' in favour of some untoward plan of action," he said.

"Impeccable sources have informed us that there is something else brewing within the DA and that a bigger scheme is afoot; getting rid of Ms De Lille is just the first step. This severity of the situation is downplayed in the media and what we read in the papers seems to be the tip of the iceberg."

-- News24