Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille survived to fight another day as the ANC withdrew a motion of no confidence in her that was sure to have had the blessing of her own party, the DA.
When the ANC got wind that its own motion would get the backing of the DA, it hastily withdrew the motion, refusing to do the DA’s dirty work.
ANC Cape Town leader Xolani Sotashe said that De Lille alone could not be blamed and that the whole DA executive needed to be removed.
In a statement, De Lille said the DA was in a great haste to remove her as mayor.
“The desperation to replace me reached new heights today, when the FedEx gave the DA caucus permission to vote with the ANC in the motion of no confidence that they brought to council, and subsequently withdrew.
"I consider this to be a serious mockery of the values that the DA purports to stand for, which are fairness, freedom and opportunity,” De Lille said.
During the council meeting, she also alerted council speaker Dirk Smit to circulating WhatsApp messages seeking signatures for an urgent motion against her. Smit said he would investigate it.
De Lille also used the opportunity to hit back at DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.
“The auditor-general also found that the Western Cape Human Settlements Department regressed from a clean audit opinion to an unqualified audit opinion with findings. The auditor-general found repeating issues with supply chain management within his department. The AG also recorded R520 000 in irregular expenditure,” she said.
She said it was shocking that Madikizela would use the AG’s latest audit report of the City of Cape Town to attack her.
“The City of Cape Town received unqualified audits with findings between 2007/2008 and 2011/12, while the City received four consecutive clean audits for four financial years between 2012/13 and 2015/16,” she said.
Xolani Sotashe, the ANC's Cape Town leader, said: “We will not be allowing this. We are going to remove our motion because the DA wants to use Patricia de Lille as a scapegoat. The problem is not De Lille, it is the DA. When the DA City of Cape Town receives clean audits, the DA leadership wants to take the full credit, but when things go wrong, they pin it on mayor De Lille. This is just wrong, completely wrong.
“The rot within the DA is huge and they should be removed. If De Lille is removed, the whole political leadership would then have to go,” he added.
Madikizela said De Lille’s behaviour had a direct impact on the City’s functions.
“For the first time in Cape Town’s history, a council-mandated independent investigation took the view that the sitting mayor had demonstrated behaviour and actions which constitute gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving council.
“Patricia de Lille has played an important role in South Africa’s democratic history. It is truly saddening that her conduct has forced us to act to remove her,” he added.