Cape Town - The first week of the new year is set to be a crucial one for Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, as she will know her fate by Friday.
De Lille was given until Friday by the DA to provide reasons why she should not be removed. However, a separate investigation into claims of corruption within the City's administration will also be tabled at a special council meeting the same day which, depending on the outcome, could determine her fate.
Council speaker Dirk Smit confirmed on Monday that the council meeting would only deal with the investigation into the claims against senior officials. De Lille’s role forms part of the investigation.
Smit also rubbished claims that a no-confidence vote against De Lille would be instituted.
“There will be no such thing."
"We are only going to deal with the investigation into governance-related matters in the City."
"There were allegations against very senior officials and the City approved an investigation to be conducted by an independent person, which started in December,” he said.
Smit said the investigation had to be completed by last Friday and a week later a full council meeting would be held to consider the report.
“The investigator would then have to report back to council on the investigation. The meeting will be a private one.”
De Lille, City urban development and transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead, and City manager Achmat Ebrahim were investigated after Craig Kesson, director in De Lille’s office, claimed the three covered up corruption.
The corruption included an amount of R43 million, Kesson claimed.
Whitehead has admitted the City suffered losses from a MyCiTi syndicate, but claimed that the amount was only R36m.
After considering their affidavits on the matter, council decided that all officials involved should not be removed.
Cape Town ANC leader Xolani Sotashe said: “We have to cut our recess short. Duty calls. Special council is sitting on January 5, 2018."
"All hands on deck. Council will decide on De Lille's future."
"We will serve our people with dignity. Festive season is over."
"The year 2018 must see change in Cape Town, in particular.”
ACDP councillor Grant Haskin said it was a concern that the DA had given De Lille more time in the first instance.
“We believe the City's ratepayers and the business community urgently need finality on the future of Cape Town's mayor."
"The DA cannot afford to let this drag out indefinitely because the City needs political leadership, especially on the water crisis.”
Friday's meeting will be behind closed doors.