Cape Town - A voice clip exposing the negative sentiments of a “minority group” within the DA unhappy with mayor Patricia de Lille, has laid bare the party’s simmering divisions.
The 10-second long clip was sent by Blaauwberg ward councillor Joy McCarthy to deputy mayor Ian Neilson on his birthday wishing that he takes the “hot seat”.
“Happy, happy birthday Ian. May this be the best year ever. May we achieve all our objectives and you know exactly what I mean. And may you be in the hot seat,” McCarthy said.
She and other members of the DA Blaauwberg WhatsApp group have also claimed De Lille is using the water crisis to sabotage the party.
Milnerton ward councillor Nicky Rheeder reacted to a story in the Gupta-owned New Age about De Lille possibly moving to the ANC.
“New Age-Gupta Chronicles. Made my day,” Rheeder reacted.
“Mine too,” was McCarthy’s reaction.
Neilson said he was aware of the sound clip.
“It’s merely one of my supporters who wished me well. I can’t remember all the words, but it was just a comment she made.”
Neilson would not be drawn on the project referred to by McCarthy.
“Different people want different things within the DA, but the party is dealing with this issue.”
Asked for comment, McCarthy wanted details of who leaked the sound clip.
“I’m not prepared to comment. A certain person has been implicating me in many things and this sounds like another… all part of a challenge for a leadership position.”
De Lille said: “Yes, I am aware of the clip, it was put on a chat group which many people had access to and who saw the defamatory remarks made about me.”
In a lengthy legal reply to allegations levelled against her by Craig Kesson, chief resilience officer in her office, she said two major causes – public transport and affordable housing – had been championed under her leadership.
“This has at times made me unpopular with a powerful minority sector. However, I know that I have the support of the vast majority of Capetonians to promote social justice in our city,” she said.
The Cape Argus reported last week on De Lille’s belief that she is under political pressure from various quarters and that there are plans to remove her for implementing a spatial transformation plan in the city.
This was contained in the affidavit of Kesson tabled before the full council.
He alleged that De Lille and City manager Achmat Ebrahim covered up corruption involving Melissa Whitehead, transport commissioner of Cape Town.
The corruption included an amount of R43 million, Kesson claimed.