Cape Town - The DA says five Cape Town councillors who resigned citing racism, left the party because of a damning independent report into the possible criminal conduct of mayor Patricia De Lille and mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron.
On Thursday, in a dramatic turn five DA councillors resigned citing rife racism within the party, and victimisation of those presumed to be De Lille’s supporters.
First to resign was Chief Whip Shaun August then area-based Mayco Member Siya Mamkeli, area-based Mayco member Suzette Little, Atlantis councillor Greg Bernado and Mfuleni councillor Thulani Stemela.
However, DA’s Natasha Mazzone has labelled the move by the five councillors as “resignation of 5 councillors who were fierce defenders of Ms De Lille at all costs”.
She said the party was not shocked by the resignation, and it will not be deterred from holding those who are found wanting accountable.
“It is no coincidence, as the timing of their resignation was a clear attempt to distract from the damning independent report into the possible criminal conduct of Patricia De Lille and Brett Herron,” said Mazzone.
The City Council has adopted a forensic report into corruption and maladministration by Bowman Gilfillian, which recommended that De Lille, Herron, former municipal manager Achmat Ebrahim and former executive director Melissa Whitehead be criminally be charged.
Mazzone said the report found that: “her (De Lille) failure to bring the matter to the attention of Council was a failure of her duties In respect of the Municipal Systems Disciplinary Regulations 5 (1) and (2), as well as Regulation 3(2) of the Financial Misconduct Regulations.”
She said De Lille will be charged according to under s119 of the Municipal Systems Act.
She said the governance breakdown in the City of Cape Town under De Lille has exposed the party to unnecessary legal and financial risks, amounting to billions.
De Lille has profusely denied allegations against her, as smear campaigns to tarnish her name. She is expected to vacate her office October 31st.
Following court battles and failed motions of no confidence against her, De Lille reached an agreement with DA leader Mmusi Maimane in August that she would resign as mayor if the party dropped its disciplinary proceedings against her.
It is uncertain as to whether she will resign with a new cloud hanging over her head.