De Lille is set to lose her job at the helm of the City of Cape Town as the DA prepares to usher in “new leadership”.
“We believe that this is the first step towards bringing new management to the City of Cape Town caucus that is stable, functional and focused on delivering the highest quality of services to all of its residents,” said DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme.
James Selfe, DA federal chairperson, gave De Lille, City chief whip Shaun August and Speaker Dirk Smit until on Monday to provide reasons why they should not be fired.
This comes after the conclusion of a probe into allegations of maladministration by a DA sub-committee led by DA chief whip in Parliament, John Steenhuisen.
De Lille said she would consider legal action if the DA removed her as mayor. “Leading a team, we worked extremely hard to elevate the administration to its current position of being the best run in South Africa. The DA received its mandate from the people of Cape Town and it is that mandate that I delivered on extremely well.
“The people of Cape Town further validated the work we have done with a two-thirds majority in the 2016 local government elections,” she said.
The DA’s process against her has been “patently unfair” towards her and her legal team would convey this to the DA’s executive, De Lille said.
Right now, she was focused on Steenhuisen’s report. “For now, the thrust of my response is to deal with the merits of the allegations in the report as comprehensively as possible in the time afforded to me. I remain hopeful that we will be able to dissuade FedEx from taking the drastic step of initiating a motion of no confidence in me.
“But if we cannot do so. I would have to consider alternatives to defend my reputation of a lifetime of fighting against corruption and addressing inequality in our society.”
Van Damme said the party’s sub-committee had found “sufficient management and governance-related challenges prevalent in the DA’s City of Cape Town caucus, negatively impacting the city’s mandate to govern efficiently.
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“The DA remains committed to clean and efficient administrations where we govern. That is why it is of paramount importance that we get to the bottom of these allegations and swift leadership changes be made should they be found to be true so that our commitment to deliver to the people of Cape Town is not derailed.”
Xolani Sotashe, ANC leader in the Cape Metro, said he was disgusted with the DA’s double standards: “The ANC’s attempt to place the matter and the disbandment of the City’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on the agenda of the portfolio committee on security and social services was regrettably denied by the DA The spat between De Lille and her mayco member JP Smith led to their suspension, but they remained councillors.”
Western Cape EFF leader Bernard Joseph said: “It is now proven that their clean audits are only the result of ticking off boxes We also understand that the mayor was used to lure coloured votes and that has now been fulfilled, therefore she is no longer needed,” he said.
Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Western Cape UDM leader, said the party factional fights within the DA was now putting the municipal administration in jeopardy.
Without revealing all her plans, De Lille has indicated that she will turn to the courts should the party kick her out of her position.