UNDER PRESSURE: Patricia de Lille
Cape Town - DA heavyweights have put more pressure on beleaguered Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille as they await the outcome of her court case today, 4 June. She has taken them to court for taking away her DA membership and her role as mayor.

In the latest round, she is being investigated for committing the City Council to service delivery projects in volatile areas vulnerable to land grabs and protests.

Council speaker Dirk Smit is investigating the complaint received from a city councillor following two weeks of public meetings across the metro where the De Lille administration has been committing the City to several projects.


In a letter to De Lille, Smit said it is also alleged that she has encouraged residents to take the City to court if there is non-delivery of service. “It would appear furthermore that you are abusing your position as executive mayor in the present circumstances where you hold this office by virtue of an interim court order without the support of the party on whose list you were elected as a councillor. (This) in order to secure personal and political support from communities and, in effect, are campaigning to lay the ground for a time when you no longer occupy office,” Smit said.

He said councillors were required to conduct their work honestly and in good faith. “I view this matter in a serious light,” he said. Smit gave De Lille until last week to respond to the allegations.

During a council sitting last week, De Lille said: “I have had six meetings with the leaderships of various communities. To win the trust of the community and to prevent that they run in protest to the N2 I go there and agree to deliver services. And the communities are not stupid, they want papers and want to know of budgets.”

The matter is still under investigation.

In a separate letter to deputy mayor Ian Neilson, De Lille asked him to visit areas to address community concerns. Neilson agreed, but suggested he visited two different areas to those De Lille had proposed because of the geographical spread.

Meanwhile, DA councillor Nikelo Mzuvukile, chairperson of the DA Caucus in the City, said their decision to reduce the designated authorities of De Lille would considerably strengthen transparency and accountability in the City.

“Out of 154 DA councillors in the Cape Town caucus only eight opposed the change in the powers of the mayor. It is clear that even councillors who are supportive of the mayor believe her powers are excessive,” he said.


The move was deemed necessary by the DA Caucus, given the report by the Auditor-General (AG) in January.

“For the first time in a decade, the AG has not issued the City with a clean audit and issued it with an unqualified audit. Tender irregularities and loss of income related to the MyCiti bus service were cited among the AG’s concerns. The truth is that the report adopted yesterday reverts the powers of the mayor back to what they were before,” Mzuvukile said.

“Previous DA mayors of the City of Cape Town, Helen Zille and Dan Plato operated under a system which was transparent and decentralised accountability to the Mayoral Committee,” he said.

Grant Twigg, DA metro chairperson, said the hypocritical political grandstanding by the ANC in the City of Cape Town should be rejected. “We further respect the decision of various councillors to respectfully protest during the recent City of Cape Town Council meeting as they are entitled to do. None of these councillors sang or made any noise during proceedings, with only frivolous interjections coming from the ANC,” Twigg said.


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Cape Argus