On May 31, the council agreed to reduce De Lille’s role to “ceremonial”, delegating decisions to her mayoral committee by consensus, with final oversight by the council.
The council is now seeking legal advice to make the resolution compliant with the law in order to legitimise their decision.
Local government MEC Anton Bredell confirmed to De Lille in a letter that he has been in talks with council speaker Dirk Smit to revise the decision.
The Cape Argus saw the letter to De Lille in which he confirmed that Smit sought legal advice, noting “deficiencies” in the original motion.
“I have received correspondence from the office of the speaker, indicating that deficiencies were identified in the resolution of May 31, and that legal advice obtained suggested a redraft of the designated powers,” Bredell’s letter said.
“I am also informed that it is intended to submit a recommendation for a revised resolution to the council at its next meeting on July 26.”
Bredell’s letter was in response to De Lille’s request for his input in a letter, dated June 4, which she sent following the council’s decision.
In a letter to Bredell, a copy of which the Cape Argus also has in its possession, De Lille wrote to Bredell to inform him of the council’s decision to strip her powers.
“You will note that all decisions must now be taken at a mayoral committee level by consensus, and if there is a lack of consensus the matter will then need to be tabled at council.
“I am of the view that the implications of this resolution will be widespread across the administration and will impact on the City and the administration,” De Lille said.
“I would appreciate your view and intervention in this matter,” she told Bredell.
JP Smith, DA City caucus deputy leader, said they were revising the resolution to make it compliant. He, however, stressed that they would be guided by legal advice.
“We are not moving away from breaking down the centralised power Patricia has created. She has centralised power in her office, and to a few, and the accountability and transparency mechanisms have been watered down.
“We are not backing down on this The revision is by no means a way that she will get her powers back,” he pointed out.
The original motion, tabled by deputy mayor Ian Neilson, asked to delegate “all delegations and legislative authority, including subordinate legislation” to the mayoral committee, with the exception of mayco appointments, and with certain provisions for ceremonial duties.