Cape Town – Mayor Patricia de Lille says poor performance is the only reason the DA can remove her from her position.
As reported by Cape Argus, De Lille, Cape Town’s longest-serving mayor, said the DA’s procedures allow for a public representative to be removed only if the official performs poorly.
“I have had to submit to the DA all the successes of the City of Cape Town under my leadership when they asked me to give reasons as to why I should not be removed. Because the only way I can be removed is when I am not performing,” she said.
Asked if the DA still had confidence in her, De Lille said: “I don’t think political confidence lies necessarily with the party. The answer to political confidence lies with the electorate. I was the face of the DA’s election in 2016. We received massive support from Cape Town and they showed their confidence in me.”
Currently there are two investigations against De Lille – one in the DA chaired by party chief whip John Steenhuisen and a second one by law firm Bowman Gilfillan investigating serious allegations in the City.
Steenhuisen investigated the political tensions in the Cape Town Caucus and allegations involving serious questions of good governance and maladministration.
One of the matters under investigation was the political tension between De Lille and her mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services JP Smith.
“I asked the party if we could mediate the situation between myself and JP, but that never happened. I wanted to sit around a table and talk about the situation,” she said.
JP Smith said he was never approached by the party or De Lille for mediation.
“I still have the SMS messages where I asked her (De Lille) to speak about the issues. She declined to speak to me,” he said.
James Selfe, DA federal executive chairperson, said that should a decision be taken to remove De Lille, talks about possible replacement candidates will begin.
He also said De Lille’s submissions will be considered.
The DA will meet on Sunday to decide on De Lille’s fate. Opposition parties have said De Lille is on her way out.
ANC Cape Town chairperson, Xolani Sotashe, said De Lille was set up for failure. “From the onset, the ANC held a view that corruption is in the veins of the DA-led council.”He said the ANC still holds the firm view that De Lille will be axed and should vacate her position of responsibility immediately.
ACDP councillor Grant Haskin said for over 10 years, the DA’s “clean (corruption-free) governance” claim has been a cornerstone of its campaigning.
“Cape Town has been held up as its flagship example. But, 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,” he added.
UDM president Bantu Holomisa said the similarities between the DA political manipulation in Cape Town and in Nelson Mandela Bay confirm a pattern of deceit that makes a mockery of the DA’s claims to a better alternative for good governance.
Grant Twigg, DA Cape Town leader, said the City caucus is meeting today to discuss the proposed drought water levy, De Lille’s position and give direction to the caucus.