Cape Town - In a day filled with drama, and after months of fighting the DA have finally agreed to have embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille's disciplinary hearing open to the public.
Earlier, ahead of a council meeting, a motion of no confidence in De Lille was withdrawn as it came to light that she had come to an agreement with the DA’s federal executive over her disciplinary process.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said De Lille had been in talks with party leader Mmusi Maimane and federal executive chair James Selfe had then conveyed those discussions to the party’s Cape Town councillors.
The DA’s deputy federal council chairperson Natasha Mazzone announced the far-reaching agreement the party had entered into with De Lille.
“Both parties have agreed to a speedy disciplinary process, including a hearing which will take place over three days in August. In line with this agreement, a motion of no confidence which was set down for today has been withdrawn in the City of Cape Town council meeting,” said Mazzone.
She said the party’s agreement with De Lille would allow for the mayor to be held accountable “in a free and reasonable manner” for the findings of an independent counsel-headed investigation.
“Those include the upcoming Bowman’s report into her conduct. Upon Mayor De Lille’s insistence, the party will appoint an FLC (federal legal commission) panel and the prosecution will be led by an independent senior prosecutor. This process will be open to the media, we will strive to conclude this matter as soon as possible,” said Mazzone.
She acknowledged that the agreement would likely resolve an issue which had been “very protracted”.
Mazzone said the DA had decided that an open disciplinary hearing would be the “most mature and correct” process to follow. This comes months after De Lille challenged the closed process in court.
“There has been a lot of confusion around the issue. We believe in accountability and its one of the principles in our party, and for that reason, we have taken steps, that we practise what we preach...and that all our processes, that we make them as transparent as possible,” said Mazzone.
The members of the FLC panel will only be announced closer to the time of the hearing. A charge sheet, with a few alterations to include the findings of the Bowman’s report will be presented to De Lille.
Mazzone said there had been a meeting with the DA leadership and De Lille which had prompted the withdrawal of the no-confidence motion, and the announcement of her disciplinary process.