CITY LIMITS: Patricia de Lille
It crunch time for City of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille as the Western Cape High Court decides on her membership of the DA.

This was while it emerged yesterday that the DA has launched a new investigation into her.

De Lille took the party to court after it terminated her membership following a radio interview.

In the interview on April 26, De Lille told Eusebius McKaiser on CapeTalk and 702 that she intended to quit the party.

McKaiser asked De Lille: “If I hear you you are saying: Ideally I want to clear my name that’s why I am going to court and if I win this battle and when I win it because I know I’ve done nothing wrong then the morning after I have won the court case then I will resign from the DA?”

She replied: “I will walk away.”

The DA cited clause 3.5.1.2 in its constitution, which says if a member publicly declares an intention to resign, then membership ceases immediately.

But the court reinstated De Lille to her position when she launched an urgent application.

De Lille wants the high court to reverse the party’s decision that her membership had ceased.

But DA federal deputy chairperson Natasha Mazzone previously said: “De Lille will now act in only a ceremonial role, with substantive governance decisions to be taken by the DA caucus in the interests of the people of Cape Town.”

De Lille was last week stripped of her executive powers by the City of Cape Town after the DA sponsored a motion.

Fellow councillors turned their backs on her last week when she tabled the city’s budget.

The DA caucus in Cape Town has failed in its bid to pass a motion of no confidence against her.

Attempts to reach De Lille were unsuccessful.

In the latest round in the battle between De Lille and her party, the mayor is being investigated for committing the council to service delivery projects in areas volatile to land grabs and protests.

Council Speaker Dirk Smit is investigating the complaint received from a councillor following two weeks of public meetings across the metro, where De Lille committed the city to several projects.

In a letter to De Lille, Smit said it is also alleged that she encouraged residents to take the city to court if there was non-delivery of services.

“It would appear furthermore that you are abusing your position as executive mayor in the present circumstances, where you hold this office by virtue of an interim court order without the support of the party, in order to secure personal and political support from communities and, in effect, are campaigning to lay the ground for a time when you no longer occupy office. I view this matter in a serious light,” he said.

Smit gave her until last week to respond to the allegations.

During council last week, De Lille said: “I have had six meetings with the leaderships of various communities. To win the trust of the community, and to prevent that they run in protest to the N2, I go there and agree to deliver services. And the communities are not stupid, they want papers and want to know of budgets.”

The matter is still under investigation.

In a separate letter to deputy mayor Ian Neilson, De Lille asked him to visit areas to address community concerns.

Neilson agreed, but suggested that he visit two different areas to what De Lille had proposed because of the geographical spread.

Meanwhile, DA councillor Nikelo Mzuvukile, chairperson of the DA caucus in the City of Cape Town, said their decision to reduce the designated authorities of De Lille would strengthen transparency and accountability considerably.

“Out of 154 DA councillors in the Cape Town caucus only eight opposed the change in the powers of the mayor. It’s clear even councillors who are supportive of the mayor believe her powers are excessive,” he said.

Mzuvukile added the move was deemed necessary by the DA caucus, given the report by the Auditor-General in January this year.

“For the first time in a decade, the AG has not issued the city with a clean audit.

“Tender irregularities and loss of income related to the MyCiTi bus service were cited among the concerns. The report adopted yesterday reverts the powers of the mayor back to what they were,” he added.

Grant Twigg, the DA metro chairperson, said the ANC’s “political grandstanding” should be rejected.

“We respect the decision of councillors to respectfully protest during the recent City of Cape Town council meeting, as they are entitled to do.

“None of these councillors sang or made any noise during proceedings, with only frivolous interjections coming from the ANC,” Twigg said.