Mayor Patricia de Lille and DA Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela says mayor Patricia de Lille is leading the city council without an official party mandate after they failed in their motion to oust her.

Madikizela said it needed to be noted that the vast majority of DA councillors expressed their lack of confidence in the mayor.

“She has survived in large part due to the support of the ANC and the other smaller opposition parties. Seventy-five percent of the DA caucus voted in favour of the motion,” Madikizela said.

Only 109 councillors voted in favour of the motion at a special council meeting on Thursday. Votes against the motion were 110.

The DA has 154 of the 231 council seats.

Earlier in the day, De Lille walked out of the council meeting when speaker Dirk Smit refused to allow a secret ballot.

“It was at that stage that I felt I had enough. I came to my office and started packing up my personal stuff. I just felt like giving up, right there,” she said.

De Lille also thanked her supporters in the DA caucus.

“It took an enormous amount of bravery by the DA councillors who supported me today. I thank them for their courage and for voting with conviction. To the many people of Cape Town and the various communities who have supported me with their kind words and well wishes, my heartfelt thanks goes to each and every single person,” she said.

The meeting started with chaos when the ANC caused disruptions that forced Smit to move the meeting to the Civic Centre’s Banqueting Hall.

The meeting was then again moved back to the main chamber.

ANC councillors wanted clarity on an investigation into WhatsApp messages that were sent to councillors seeking support for the motion against De Lille during last month’s council meeting. The EFF and ANC were defending De Lille.

The motion against De Lille was moved by DA councillor Malusi Booi.

Xolani Sotashe, ANC leader of opposition, said Booi should be the last one to speak on no-confidence.

“The DA is a satanic alliance. Speaker, you have defended her but in the end you used her for your own political expedience,” he said.

EFF councillor Melikhaya Xego said the DA had short-circuited the investigations against De Lille.

Asked about the secret ballot, De Lille said: “I am not going to allow this. The Speaker was instructed by the DA and he has had no other choice but to act in the manner that he has.”

On Wednesday, the Western Cape High Court ruled that Smit use his discretion to ensure that councillors could vote with their conscience.

Smit said: “The constitution neither prohibits nor prescribes an open ballot or a secret ballot. The importance of councillors being able to vote freely belongs to the people and must not be exercised arbitrarily.”

Cape Argus