Speculations and jostling over mayco

Patrica de Lille will don Cape Town's mayoral chain on June 1 for the DA - after 27 years in the PAC and about seven years as leader of the ID. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Patrica de Lille will don Cape Town's mayoral chain on June 1 for the DA - after 27 years in the PAC and about seven years as leader of the ID. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Published May 11, 2011


Speculations is rife on who will form part of DA mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille’s mayoral committee (mayco) should the party win the municipal election - with old names like deputy mayor Ian Neilson and new inclusions such as Beverly Cortje-Alcock tipped to make it on her team.

Long-serving councillor JP Smith is said to be chasing after the deputy mayor position and could be competing against incumbent Neilson, who has made it clear he intends to retain the position.

DA insiders have told the Cape Times that De Lille and some members of her would-be mayoral committee had already met with party leader Helen Zille “individually”.

“Look, it’s definitely Neilson, Smith, Belinda Walker and Brett Herron. They are the only white people on mayco. Shehaam Sims will no doubt be there as well. (Speaker) Dirk Smit is out. Brian Watkyns might go for speaker. And (current mayor) Dan Plato has apparently turned down any move to province,” said one caucus member, who asked not to be named.

He said De Lille would most probably bring in a close Independent Democrats (ID) person to be around her and this would most likely be former mayco member for utility services, Gerhard Ras.

Ras left the City of Cape Town to take up an acting city manager position at George Municipality. He then joined De Lille’s office when she was appointed social development MEC last year. Before that Ras was the ID caucus leader and part of the coalition running Cape Town.

“De Lille will feel naked without someone close to her from the ID. She will favour Ras, who is a former mayco member. Beverly will also come in. She’s in the top 20, so she’s risen quite high up on the list,” the caucus member said.

Cortje-Alcock is the chairwoman of sub-council 6, which covers Bellville, and also sits on the finance portfolio committee.

The source said Neilson may be deputy mayor again, but Smith may also come into that position.

Neilson told the Cape Times yesterday that everything was still speculation.

“But my short answer to you would be no decision has been taken yet. The official decision will be De Lille’s. A lot of people are talking, but I have said that I’m going to make myself available for deputy mayor,” Neilson said.

He said he had had “informal” discussions with a few people, but the make-up of mayco was for De Lille to decide. “At this stage, it’s all complete speculation,” said Neilson.

Zille denied meeting anyone to discuss the matter.

“No such meeting took place,” Zille said.

Another member, who asked not to be named, said it would be ideal if the committee would get new fresh faces, saying De Lille was her own person and wouldn’t be influenced.

“These guys (old guard) won’t go away. It’s the old DP clique that thinks it owns this party. But Ras could come in, but not as a mayco member. He’ll probably go to the mayor’s office. But Patricia must do what she needs to do,” he said.

Smith, on the other hand, said he was not even “remotely” interested in being deputy mayor.

“I was never in the running for anything,” said Smith.

When she was announced as mayoral candidate, De Lille said her mayco selection would be done in consultation with the DA leadership. - Cape Times

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