MEC for Social Development Patricia De Lille. Picture: Jason Boud
MEC for Social Development Patricia De Lille. Picture: Jason Boud

Sister puts paid to De Lille’s mayoral aspirations

By Time of article published Feb 24, 2011

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Babalo Ndenze

Metro Writer

PATRICIA de Lille’s mayoral aspirations have hit a major obstacle after it emerged that a clause in the DA’s rule book disqualified her from running for the top post because she has a relative in council.

De Lille’s sister, Cynthia Jeffreys, is a serving councillor in the City of Cape Town.

The clause states: “No person may be nominated as an aspirant candidate to serve in any municipal council if a close family member of that person already serves in that municipal council and/or wishes to be nominated or re-nominated to that municipal council, and no two or more close family members may be nominated to the same municipal council, provided that members of a close family who are already members of the same municipal council may remain members of that municipal council, and may be nominated for re-election”.

It goes on to say, however, that members of the same municipal council who become spouses or partners may remain members of that municipal council and may be nominated for re-election.

The definitions of close family members means a spouse or partner, parent or step-parent, parent-in-law or step-parent-in-law, sibling or stepsibling, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, uncle or aunt, cousin or child.

The Cape Times has been informed that there are nine candidates who have been barred from running.

The people who have been “compromised” by the rule, according to one councillor, are Lisa McBride because of her sister, Wendy Rass, Rashad Davids because of his son, councillor Magedien Davids, and Charlotte Williams, former deputy mayor under DA leader Helen Zille.

“The DA has a rule that you can’t stand and De Lille has a sister. They also turned down Peter Wrench (DA Milnerton branch) because of his cousin. But the ID are arguing that the rule only applies to the DA. They say the ID still exists,” said the |councillor.

He said the party would be forced to take the matter to the provincial DA leadership headed by Theuns Botha.

“But Theuns will vote in favour of De Lille,” he said.

But DA federal executive chairman James Selfe said De Lille’s nomination was accompanied by a letter from Jeffreys indicating that if De Lille was selected as the mayoral candidate, she would not wish to be re-nominated as a candidate in Cape Town.

He said section 4.7 of the Regulations for the Nomination of Municipal Candidates, which were adopted by the Federal Council on July 23 last year, is the “codification” of a policy that was adopted by the DA as far back as 2004.

“It is a legitimate infringement on the rights of candidates to be nominated, since it is designed to prevent the dominance of families in caucuses, particularly smaller ones, which has, in our experience, led to resentment and feelings of exclusion. Nothing prevents close members of the same family from serving in different caucuses, and dozens of examples of DA public representatives can be cited where this happens,” said Selfe.

But one senior party member, who spoke anonymously, maintained that De Lille’s candidacy was still illegal despite Selfe’s explanation, and that she should not have been nominated in the first place because of her sister. He said Jefferys should have withdrawn before the nomination.

A councillor affected by the rule said it was being |subjected to all kinds of “manipulation”.

“This rule has ended up cutting out coloured people,” he said.

He said Jeffreys has been shortlisted on two wards, which indicates that she won’t be willing to give up her candidacy to allow for her sister, De Lille, to run for mayor.

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