The Democratic Alliance will seek to move for another motion of no confidence in Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, after the Western Cape High Court ruled in her favour in her case against the party.
A full Bench of the High Court found on Wednesday that the party’s “determination” that De Lille ceased to be a party member following comments she made on a radio station in April, was unlawful.
Judge Andre Le Grange cited various procedural irregularities in De Lille’s removal, specifically the setting up of the DA’s federal legal commission (FLC) panel in De Lille’s case, as evidence of non-compliance.
Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council
27 June 2018
The DA notes the judgment handed down by the Western Cape High this morning.
It is noteworthy that the court only dealt with technical and procedural matters and did not express itself on the substantive merits of the matter.
We will study the judgment and consider further legal options including the possibility of an appeal.
We are committed to putting the people of Cape Town first and will seek to do so at every turn.
The facts of this matter remain:
- The City of Cape Town caucus which Patricia de Lille led, expressed that it had lost confidence in her leadership by means of a vote- twice.
- It stated that her leadership style was divisive, autocratic and made it difficult for councillors to carry out their duties and effectively serve the people of Cape Town and drive service delivery.
Political leadership is about taking the people that you lead along with you. It is impossible for anyone to lead a caucus in which more than 75% of those people no longer have confidence in your abilities based on a number of issues.
These issues are:
- An independent investigation conducted on the instruction of the entire council found prima facie evidence of gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving council.
- Ms De Lille presided over the City’s very first downgrade of the City’s audit status by the Auditor General. This was as direct result of governance and leadership failures on her part.
Under different circumstances, any leader with any sense of accountability to the people the City serves, would have done the honourable thing and resigned after these revelations and the loss of confidence of her own caucus.
Instead, Ms De Lille has hung on to power, refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing on her part and sought to use the courts to prevent being held to account. She has – in true Jacob Zuma style- sought to use public money to defend a matter which is between her and her political party.
There are a number of questions which Ms De Lille has failed to answer.
Most of these require simply a yes or no answer yet she sought to try and confuse the public by deflecting the answers.
These questions are:
- Did she send the SMS to Councilor Xanthea Limberg asking that the then City Manager be scored higher because ‘she wants to keep him’? Yes or No?
- Did she unduly influence the appointment of Limia Essop because she has a personal relationship with her? Yes or No?
- Why did she refuse to cooperate with the on-going Bowman’s investigation which seeks to investigate these issues in the City, and which she loudly professed earlier this year she would easily refute?
- Why did she publicly attack and seek to intimidate the two whistleblowers in the City, including the Cities’ most senior black South African manager, when the claims they made have been vindicated by numerous processes?
- Why did she seek to protect and shield the now suspended senior official Melissa Whitehead?
Ms De Lille has refused outright to answer any of these questions. Instead she has lambasted everyone who has brought these issues to the fore for investigation and she has sought to confuse and mislead the public at every turn.
It is also worth noting that Ms De Lille personally drove the Foreshore Freeway project. Under her direct leadership this deeply flawed process led to multiple appeals. Upon review it is now clear that, following legal advice, this tender could well now be cancelled in its entirely. In so doing Ms De Lille has exposed the City to massive financial and reputational risk.
Her removal from the drought and water management has allowed the City, – along with the residents who continue to save this precious resource, – to pushback Day Zero for 2018 and 2019. Removing her has allowed the officials to do everything possible to save and augment water and plan in a rational and evidenced based manner.
The DA understands how confusing this time has been for the people of Cape Town. No political party enjoys having a very public and messy battle with one of its mayors. But we had no choice but to protect the highest standard of leadership expected from our executive office holders.
Unlike our opponents we are committed to rooting out corruption and maladministration where we govern.
Unlike our opponents, we do not lack the political will to do what is difficult to stay true to our values.
Just yesterday, the ANC announced it would be appointing Tony Yengeni – a convicted criminal- to lead the committee on crime and corruption. This is after the party appointed Ace Magashule who single-handedly plundered the Free State government to run its organization; and DD Mabuza, who presided over the destruction of Mpumulanga’s public finances was rewarded with the Deputy Presidency of the country.
In contrast, the DA no matter how hard it may be, will continue holding its public representatives to the highest standard of accountability.
We will not be deterred.
As such, we will seek move a motion of no confidence against Patricia De Lille.
We will never betray our election promise to the people of Cape Town. We committed to running a government that is clean, efficient and delivers for all. Not even Patricia De Lille is above that commitment.