Cape Town City council chief whip has Shaun August wasn't the only member of council to announce his resignation. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus
Cape Town - With a determinedly clear declaration that she would not leave office under a dark cloud, Mayor Patricia de Lille set in motion a drama-filled day that had senior DA councillors resigning their seats and from the party, saw “racists” in the DA slammed and De Lille openly shouting at her fellow councillors.

Addressing council, De Lille lashed out at her detractors and those who leaked a forensic report into corruption at the City.

“It is a minority, but some who are in this council are hell-bent on smearing my name. But as I have said many times before, I will not be deterred,” she said. “I will not break and I will not give into these vehement and racist bullying tactics.”

Before listing the successes of the City, De Lille said: “I will not be leaving under a dark cloud.”

After her address, proceedings took a turn for the worse when chief whip Shaun August announced his resignation.

Members of the DA leadership were visibly caught off guard, but the party claimed it was expecting something major to happen.

As he left, he said: “Mayor, this would have been your last day at the council. But I am telling you that this will not be your last. I cannot stand the abuse by this party.

Soon after he left, mayco members for Area North Suzette Little and Area Central Siya Mamkeli, Atlantis councillor Greg Bernardo and Mfuleni councillor Thulani van der Stemela walked out after resigning.

Added to that, August said it was after the 2016 local government elections when various characters within the DA metro started with their campaign to remove him and those they deemed “ID members” from senior leadership and government positions.

“By no means was this a reflection of my work ethic or my commitment to the party but was based on stomach politics fuelled by those who resented others in power and position and for position and power,” August said.

ANC councillors cheered them as they left the chamber. Some senior DA councillors were visibly dumbstruck. Speaker Dirk Smit called for a break.

Other aggrieved councillors who also walked out hugged De Lille.

De Lille shouted at speaker Dirk Smit when he allowed a report to be removed from the agenda. The report cleared De Lille of any wrongdoing for upgrades at her home.

At a press conference afterwards, DA caucus leader JP Smith said there had been unhappiness among the councillors, but they never brought any formal complaints.

Smith said councillors had a theatrical way of leaving their jobs.

“We saw the gallery was fully booked. Something was going to happen. We are already starting to inform the relevant authorities,” he said.

@JasonFelix

[email protected]

Cape Argus