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#DeLille details DA's 'short cuts of desperation' to get rid of her

Patricia de Lille explains the way forward at a press conference after being fired. Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency/ANA

Patricia de Lille explains the way forward at a press conference after being fired. Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency/ANA

Published May 9, 2018

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Cape Town -Patricia de Lille says her axing as mayor without due process meant the DA was conceding it had no real evidence against her.

All she wanted was to publicly clear her name, but had now been denied this.

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De Lille is to challenge her axing in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

DA federal council deputy chairperson Natasha Mazzone cited a radio interview on Radio 702 on April 26, during which De Lille on two occasions indicated that she intended to resign from the DA as soon as she “had cleared her name”.

De Lille said the DA used the interview as a hook to invoke a clause in its constitution which provided that party members automatically ceased to be members when publicly declaring their intention to resign.

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She contended this clause was in violation of the country’s constitution.

Cape Times Breakfast with Patricia de Lille will be streamed live on Facebook from 7.30am.

De Lille said there was a predetermined decision to get rid of her and that the DA took a “short cut” in their desperation.

“They did not follow their own due processes to allow me to stand before an impartial tribunal and respond to the untested allegations against me in public. 

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"This now saves them the trouble of having to go through the process of producing the evidence, and so it can only be considered a concession that there in fact was no real evidence against me.”

She said for months she had requested the evidence from the DA, but to no avail, and allegations that she was stonewalling the process were in fact wrong.

“I have always maintained that I am fighting for my right to natural justice and to clear my name. For months various DA members have repeated untested allegations against me to taint my name and my reputation as a corruption fighter, including the latest where two MPs shared a fraudulent letter about me purporting to be from the auditor-general.”

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De Lille said she had communicated her intention of approaching the court to interdict the city manager and the Independent Electoral Commission of SA to halt the declaring of her position vacant and the dissolution of the current Mayco.

Earlier, a document, purportedly from the auditor- general slamming De Lille for corruption - and distributed widely on social media by her detractors in the DA as evidence against her - turned out to be fake. The auditor-general denied having authored it, saying it was a forgery.

De Lille said the trouble had begun as far back as 2014 when she presented her plan to transform the city, and when her 2016 organisational development plan was adopted by the council.

She said there were conservatives within the DA who did not want to see transformation in the city.

Federal executive council chairperson James Selfe said they decided on Monday night to accept the party’s federal legal commission’s finding that her membership had ceased as of April 26, the date of the radio interview, adding: “We wish De Lille well in her future endeavours and thank her for the service she has given the party.”

Asked whether the absence of party leader Mmusi Maimane at the announcement of De Lille’s axing had anything to do with the reported spat between him and leading white members - including chief whip John Steenhuisen, his deputy Mike Waters and Mazzone - about comments Maimane made on Freedom Day that “white privilege” needed to be confronted, was denied by Mazzone.

She said she was the main DA spokesperson on the De Lille matter, not Maimane.

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