Cape Town - Ex-mayor Patricia de Lille says more councillors are set to quit the DA as the fallout in the party continued with two more councillors resigning on Wednesday.
Their resignation, and De Lille’s on Wednesday, brought to eight the number who quit the party in less than a week.
Addressing the media after she had filed an application at the Western Cape High Court, to have one of two forensic reports compiled by law firm Bowman Gilfillan reviewed and set aside, De Lille said there were more councillors who were unhappy with “ongoing victimisation and bullying” in the DA.
“There are certainly more councillors following and I take my hat off to them. They are speaking out now about the racism in the DA, they have the evidence of how they raised their issues many times without even a response,” said De Lille.
She said there was a concerted effort to remove those close to her, including former members of her disbanded party, the Independent Democrats, who had joined the DA with her in 2010.
The two councillors who announced their resignation are Philiswa Marman and Jonathan Cupido.
Marman was a PR councillor while Cupido was elected as ward 31 councillor in 2016, serving areas including Valhalla Park and Montevideo.
Their decision follows last Thursday’s resignations of chief whip Shaun August, Mayco members Siyabulela Mamkeli and Suzette Little, and councillors Thulani van der Stemela and Greg Bernado.
Cupido said he could not remain in an administration where the leaders “are more focused on ridding the party of those who are not liked.
“The party may claim to be a diverse party but it’s not. When looking at our heads, they are all linked to either the DP or are white. I have defended this for some time but cannot continue due to my people not being seen,” he said.
Marman said: “My reason for resigning is due to the inherent racism I found in the party. As a black person in the DA, I felt undermined particularly as a portfolio committee chairperson in the City of Cape Town. I refuse to be treated like a maid in an organisation that preaches freedom and fairness.”
Last week, council adopted the recommendation of a forensic investigation report into alleged corruption and maladministration in the city.
The Bowman Gilfillan report has recommended that De Lille, Mayco member for transport Brett Herron, and former executive director Melissa Whitehead be criminally charged.
DA deputy chairperson of federal council Natasha Mazzone said in a statement: “Any dispute Patricia de Lille may have about these Council processes is thus purely a matter between the City and the outgoing Mayor. However, it needs to be stated unambiguously that there was absolutely no political interference of any kind in what was always an independent-council-led process.”