4 Reasons Why The DA Want to Remove De Lille
The DA has made a move to remove Patricia de Lille as mayor of Cape Town, but the ANC has thrown a spanner into the works. What next?
Published: Sunday, February 4th 2018
The ANC have thrown a spanner into the DA’s plan to remove Patricia de Lille as mayor of Cape Town. Earlier last week the DA’s provincial leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, announced that the federal executive had granted councillors the permission to support an ANC motion of no confidence in de Lille.
“While this is an unprecedented move‚ the ANC correctly in its motion details many‚ but not all‚ of the maladministration that the mayor is responsible for,” said Madikizela.
It may be said that a true test of any political party is what it does when confronted with grim allegations.
Cape Town’s mayor has been in the firing lines for some time now. Madikizela stated that the DA had finally reached the decision to remove her due to the ‘untenable and destructive role’ she has played in the mismanagement of the Mother City. In a vote last week, the caucus reached a conclusion of 84 to 59.
In favour of handing de Lille her marching papers.
And so, the stage looked all set for her departure. Then, in an apparent act of pettiness, the ANC suddenly withdrew the motion.
ANC’s Xolani Sotashe spoke to TimesLIVE, saying:
“We won’t help the DA remove de Lille. They must do it on their own. There are bigger problems in the DA administration than de Lille.”
De Lille To Be Removed
The DA’s readiness to remove de Lille may serve as evidence that they are willing to put South Africa first, above any political interests.
This is something that the DA has asked the ANC to do in the past. It has appealed to the ruling party to support motions of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma, of course, has caused irrevocable damage to our country in his role as our leader. And by leader, we mean leading in corruption, thievery and state capture.
But of course, the ANC isn’t about to start playing ball any time soon. Suddenly, they withdrew the motion and sunk the DA’s plans. Madikizela was understandably irked by the ANC’s decision.
“While they had initially claimed that their motion was brought on by numerous allegations of maladministration against the mayor‚ they have demonstrated today that they would much rather engage in petty party politics than do what is best for the people of Cape Town‚” he said.
Both Zuma and de Lille are ill-equipped to occupy their office. Yet, the ANC has essentially protected both of them. Why does the ANC want to see an inadequate, inept mayor at the helm of DA-run Cape Town? Why have they not supported the DA’s decision?
“Yes, she is corrupt‚ but she can be rehabilitated (and the quicker she leaves the DA by her own accord the better),” said the ANC’s Sotashe.
“As the ANC‚ there is no one that we say we can’t accept in our ranks. If she wants to come‚ if she’s got an interest in the ANC‚ we will engage. Anything is possible. There is no dustbin for a human being. People can be rehabilitated.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is everything that is wrong with our government.
Why The DA Want To Remove De Lille
It is clear that the DA party has lost faith in de Lille’s leadership. They have gone on to state that it is in the best interests of the people of Cape Town, as well as good governance, to remove her as mayor.
“It is truly saddening that her conduct has forced us to act to remove her,” said Madikizela. “However‚ no matter someone’s history or popularity‚ we have a greater obligation to protecting the principles of good governance and ensuring effective delivery to all‚ especially the people of Cape Town.”
De Lille has played an important role in the democratic history of South Africa. It’s hard to believe, though, that the DA, Cape Town or the country will forgive her recent transgressions. It was recently announced that a special council meeting will be convened on February 15 to consider the motion of no confidence. This time, it has been tabled by the DA, and de Lille knows what’s coming.
So, why is the DA so determined to remove de Lille? A council-mandated investigation showed that, as mayor, de Lille has demonstrated behaviour simply unbefitting of her office. She’s been charged with misconduct and accused of gross dereliction of duty, as well as conduct amounting to deceiving council.
Let’s take a look at where it all began, and the mistakes she’s made leading up to this moment.
1. Shutting Down The City’s Special Investigation Unit
Patricia de Lille’s demise may have begun at this very moment. Last year, she pulled the rug out from under her safety chief, JP Smith, and shut Cape Town’s SIU unit down without informing him.
The CT SIU’s mandate is to investigate high-level probes within the City. With its closure, Smith inquired after the reasons for shutting the unit down without consulting him. Soon, it became evident that some friction existed between the two parties, and it rapidly escalated. It wasn’t long before the DA placed them both on leave in order to investigate the untenable situation in CT’s leadership.
The move ultimately uncovered scandalous claims of councillors involved in murder, and a number of irregularities relating to building work completed at de Lille’s home.
2. De Lille’s Nkandla
At the time, de Lille issued a statement saying:
"Regarding renovations at my house, these were paid for by myself and I am prepared to make the proof of these payments, made by myself, known as part of the proper legal processes."
She has claimed that the auditor-general had declared her innocent of any misconduct regarding security upgrades to her Pinelands home, funded by the council.
Madikizela, though, trashed these claims and called them ‘blatantly false.’
“It is simply intolerable for a sitting mayor to mislead her party and more importantly the people of Cape Town in such a deliberate and inexcusable fashion‚” he said.
3. The Cover Up
The executive director in de Lille's office, Craig Kesson, also made various allegations against her. These included that she planned to publicly discredit a senior city staff member, who had questioned a number of alleged tender irregularities. De Lille had allegedly ordered that a report into a R43 million loss be made to ‘go away’.
Reacting to the affidavit, de Lille called Kesson’s actions not ‘that of a whistle-blower, but were criminal.’
Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys performed an independent investigation and compiled a report based on their findings. The report stated that de Lille may be guilty of gross misconduct. She allegedly directed city manager, Achmat Ebrahim, not to report an allegation of misconduct against transport commissioner, Melissa Whitehead, to the city council.
The allegations were related to alleged irregularities involving the purchasing of bus chassis, to a total expenditure of around R43 million.
4. The Cape Town Water Crisis
Patricia de Lille has also come under intense scrutiny for her handling of the Cape Town water crisis. Just a few weeks ago, she was stripped of her Day Zero responsibilities entirely.
“Her failure to manage this correctly and to communicate accurate information has played a material role in the current public panic and negatively impeded the city’s response to the current crisis‚” said Madikizela.
“She actively withheld information‚ misdirected officials‚ delayed budget decisions‚ interfered with project plans and undermined the rollout of augmentation projects as a result. Furthermore‚ she failed to push national government to fulfil its legal responsibilities – at the cost and risk to the residents of Cape Town. This is in of itself has posed a massive governance risk.”